30 Rock

Season 2 Episode 9


Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Dec 13, 2007 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
254 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The cast and crew of TGS celebrates their annual holiday party, and Liz gets a visit from her family.

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  • "Yes. Funny"

    ThIs episode was all about family. Jack Donaghy once again coped poorly with the sentient black cloud that is his angry battle-ax of a mother, played with biblical fury by the great old Broadway trooper Elaine Stritch. Tracy Jordan meanwhile was forced to reexamine his attraction to his wife's sister after his court-ordered sobriety hipped him to some inconvenient truths: football is boring, he can't play guitar and his sister-in-law isn't anywhere near as cute as he thought she was.

    But the episode was dominated by Liz's family, an obliviously chipper and supportive brood that radiates love and encouragement for everyone they meet. This of course confuses and disturbs Jack, who doesn't understand why anyone would be nice unless they were playing the angles or working a long, long grift. "What did your parents mean when they said you were a beautiful genius? Were they taunting you?" Donaghy inquires testily.

    Leading a parade of big-name guest stars, or at least bigish guest stars for comedy geeks like myself, Andy Richter played Liz Lemon's brother, a 40-year-old man stuck forever in 1985 due to a head injury, a joke that proved a lot funnier here than it did in Kickin' It Old School but still felt a little thin, though Richter pretty much made it work through giddy, guileless enthusiasm alone.

    One or more of the reviewers pointed out that 30 Rock seems to relish making its show within a show look as lame and hacky as possible, which may be a subliminal dig at Saturday Night Live or Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip or just a refreshing acknowledgment that cranking out a television show every week isn't exactly brain surgery. In this episode, for example, Liz's adoring parents gazed in awe at a Girly Show set that made a fantastical leap from Liz's fertile imagination into the cozy confines of 30 Rock. The skit in question? A game show called Who Farted?. One of 30 Rock's most overlooked virtues is that it never takes itself particularly seriously, unlike a certain rotting television corpse I sadistically like to kick around every once in a while just for kicks.

    Tonight's episode marked a battle of good versus evil in miniature as a jealous Jack Donaghy and his black-hearted mother did their best to destroy Liz and her family's repugnant optimism and affection for each other by undermining her confidence and rooting around for fault lines in the family's happy façade. Meanwhile Kenneth The Page bullies and terrorizes the debauched Girly Show crew into learning the true meaning of Christmas in the most joyless manner imaginable.

    It was a 30 Rock kind of Christmas fable, one where innocence and virtue are soundly defeated by the forces of hatred and contempt and bad behavior is rewarded. Leave it to 30 Rock to flirt with delivering feel-good Yuletide jollies–aw, Liz family is so cute! They're really proud of her!–only to instead sneakily substitute the pitch-black humor and bone-deep cynicism–oh wait, they're miserable, squabbling bastards just like everyone else!–that makes the show such a consistent delight. The sunny Lemons of the world may have their fun but it's the cold, calculating Donaghys that always end up on top. Merry Christmas, everyone and to all a good night. Lemon out.moreless
  • This episode is extremely boring. I am not going to discuss this episode at all; I just wanna let you know I am not watching 30 rock again. Tina Fay is very disappointing.moreless

    Tina Fay is beautiful, she should be involved in other TV dramas. She is not creative, she is not funny, and the most important thing is that she is killing one of my favorite idol Mr. Baldwin. He is gaining weight, he lost his killer's look. I do not know why NBC keeps airing this show, indulging Tina Fay to spoil others' success. 30 Rock is only good for the first half of Season 1, it did not end well, why start Season 2??? All TV networks are killing great shows and keeping the bad ones, what exactly is happening??????????? I am telling you, you can stop watching 30 rock starting from this episode, seriously. It is not funny and the story is going no where. The worst part is that Tina Fay and Mr. Baldwin has no chemistry. They had it once but lost it now. It is time to say goodbye.moreless
  • One of my favourite episodes of the series and a good example of why I watch "30 Rock", mostly because of its witty humour.

    One of my favourite episodes of the series and a good example of why I watch "30 Rock", mostly because of its witty humour. Not only does Jack's mother appear (Elaine Stritch is wonderful on this) but the Lemon's. Two opposite families that in the end react in the same way, arguing. I love the scene when they are having dinner and there's a ray of love between Jack and her hated mum and a big argument between the Lemon's who say to each others all the things they have kept from themselves.

    Why I also like of this series and that happens in this episode is that there's a critic to the society, this time related to Christmas time.moreless
  • The return of Jack's mom was awesome! Elaine Strich is the best guest star they've ever had. The Ludachristmas parts were rushed. Probably because of the writers strike.

    Ok so you could tell this episode was rushed. Tina and company were trying to get this one off so they could start the next one. (210 by the way much better and much more time and effort put into it.)

    The Ludachistmas parts, while all the jokes were there, was rushed. It didn't have the same flow as the rest of 30 Rock. Don't get me wrong, it was hilarious. And I loved the ankle bracelet stuff (And Lohans and Michelle Rodriguez and Chewbaca on the ankle bracelet monitoring map was awesome.) Kenneth's lines seemed rushed a little.

    On the other hand, Liz' family and Jack's mom were exactally what 30 Rock is about. Colleen is the best character on television. And Jack's responses and dealings with her is equally awesome. I mean when he held the food under the strippers coughs. or "She should have been there!" Liz family was spot on too. I love how she regressed when they came. Family does that. And I still think Tony Hale should have been Mitch, but I was really happy with Andy Richter. "Do you like Wham? Because I'm kind of the George Michael of my school." Overall, this episode was awesome!moreless
  • Not a good holiday episode.


    not a named episode????

    In this episodeJack's mothers comes up for the holiday.Just to anger Jack who wanted his mother to be stucked in a hurricane hitting Florida. Which is were his mother lives. When Liz's parents and brother come to visit Liz, Jack gets weirded out because he had never seen parents so happy unlike his mother. Liz's brother was in a ski accident and thinks he is till back in 198? something or other i think 86. One Jack's mother goes to the restroom, Jack sneeks off with Liz's family. But to a suprise Jack's mother finds them. Jack's mother says thaqt she can make Liz's family angery which she does by the end of the episode...other...Every year the cast throws a party called LudaChristmas which incluideds drinking. Yet Tracy is allowed to drink. So Liz tells Kenneth and Tracy's too friends to make sure he doesnt. Only to find out the Kenneth turned the party into a sort of therapy setion. Which ends in disaster with them trying to knock down the Rockefeller Tree. Not my favorite storyline because it felt like it had already been down.moreless
Kay Cannon

Kay Cannon

Human Table

Guest Star

John F. Mooney

John F. Mooney

Reverend Gary

Guest Star

Selena Gonzalez

Selena Gonzalez


Guest Star

Elaine Stritch

Elaine Stritch

Colleen Donaghy

Recurring Role

Maulik Pancholy

Maulik Pancholy


Recurring Role

Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown

Walter "Dotcom" Slattery

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Tracy Morgan was arrested in real life for his problems with alcohol. He was arrested again, in violation of his probation and was ordered to wear a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring device (SCRAM) device. Tracy had already wore the device and eventually had it removed by the time this episode was filmed. The device used in this episode is most likely a prop.

    • According to the ankle bracelet-monitoring headquarters, Tracy Jordan is 34 years old, and his address is 42-22 22nd Street, NYC NY 11101. In real life, this is the address of Silvercup Studios in Queens, where 30 Rock is filmed.

    • The trucker hats Frank wears in this episode read "Shower Scene" and "Ho Ho Horny".

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Colleen: You give me ten minutes with the Lemon family and I'll have them tearing at each other like drag queens at a wig sale.

    • (Grizz, Dot Com, and Tracy enter Liz's office dressed in suits)
      Liz: (sarcastically) Wow. Fancy suits. How was court?
      Grizz: Not great.
      Liz: Oh, you really were in court?

    • Tracy: What are you guys doing? Going to Ludachristmas?
      Frank: Yep, we heard you can't drink. You still coming?
      Tracy: No, no, I can't go because of the ankle bracelet. But maybe I could go and just not drink. Hey,maybe I'll compromise. I'll go to the party, cut off my foot, and drink all I want!

    • Tracy: The holidays without drinking is rough. Turns out football is boring, my wife's sister ain't as cute as I thought she was, and I cannot play the guitar!

    • Jack: (to Liz) What did your mother mean when she said that you were a "beautiful genius?" Was she taunting you?

    • Frank: Who cares about the true meaning of Christmas? It's about getting crap, and eating too much! It's about getting drunk, and hugging your cousin until your mom says "Frank, enough"!

    • Dick Lemon: Tomorrow night I'm gonna take you to a cathouse.
      Mitch Lemon: I hate cats.
      Dick Lemon: You'll learn to love 'em.

    • Jack: See, mother, not all species eat their young.

    • Jack: Mother, there are terrorist cells that are more nurturing than you are.

    • Jack: (about Mitch) In his mind, Reagan is still President? You lucky bastard.

    • Dick Lemon: Life is too short.
      Jack: Really? Life is too short? (whispering to his mother) Because your life seems endless.

    • Tracy: Ludachristmas? Nude Year's Eve? Martin Luther King Day? All you do is drink.

    • Cerie: Are you gonna do Horny Santa again, Frank? That was so funny last year when I sat on your lap.
      Frank: Yes... funny.

  • NOTES (4)

    • The German episode title is "Eine schrecklich nette Familie", meaning "A Terribly Nice Family". The French title is "Noël", meaning "Christmas". The Italian title is "Il Natale della discordia", meaning "Chaotic Christmas". The Spanish title is "Ludachristmas".

    • Elaine Stritch was nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series category for her work on this epsiode.

    • International Airdates: Latin America: January 23, 2008 on CANAL SONY; Czech Republic: April 6, 2010 on Prima COOL

    • Originally left as an unnamed "Episode 209" due to the fall 2007 WGA strike, with the second-season DVD release the episode was finally given a true name.


    • When the Lemon family tours the TGS studios, they run across the backdrop for a game show spoof called "Who Farted?," which was a sketch Tina Fey wrote on SNL in April 2003.

    • The restaurant that Jack and his mother go to with the Lemon family is called "Saturdaze," a take on the popular T.G.I. Friday's restaurant chain.

    • Dick Lemon: Lemon Party! Permission to land?
      Dick Lemon: Wouldn't be a Lemon party without old Dick!

      These are references to lemonparty.org, an infamous shock site that ambushes viewers with an image of three old men engaging in a threesome. The site was previously referenced in the episode "The Aftermath".

    • The Denver ankle bracelet-monitoring center's main board shows that, in addition to Tracy Jordan, they are tracking M. Lohan, D. Lohan, L. Lohan, M. Rodriguez, and C. Bacca.
      Michael and Donata Lohan are the parents of Lindsay Lohan, an actress and singer whose multiple DUIs have resulted in her being monitored with a SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor) bracelet.
      M. Rodriguez (shown in Hawaii) is most likely Michelle Rodriguez, once star of Lost, who was also convicted for DUI.
      C. Bacca is probably a reference to Chewbacca, a character in the Star Wars films.