30 Rock

Season 2 Episode 4

Rosemary's Baby

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Oct 25, 2007 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
295 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Liz meets her longtime idol, Rosemary Howard, and invites her to be a guest writer on TGS with Tracy Jordan. However, Rosemary's ideas turn out to be too much for the show, prompting Jack to pressure Liz into firing her. Meanwhile, Jack takes Tracy to a therapist to explain to him why he must do the opposite of what he is told, and Jenna ruins Kenneth's page jacket—causing him to compete in a page-off to keep his job.moreless

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  • Great made-up words employed this episode: Followship and Adverlingus.

    This year's 30 Rock has so far followed a consistent pattern, with mildly disappointing episodes followed by all-time classics. This week's episode delivered an endless onslaught of eminently quotable lines and hilarious gags in service of surprisingly resonant storylines.

    In "Rosemary's Baby," Liz Lemon more or less adopts one of her comic heroes, a pioneering female comedy writer played with fearless self-deprecation by Carrie Fisher, who brings all sorts of fascinating iconic baggage to the role as both a formidable comedy writer in her own right and an old denizen of 30 Rock back in its mid-'70s SNL heyday. Heck, Fisher was even engaged to Dan Aykroyd at one point and appeared as a similarly desperate character in The Blues Brothers. All integrity and zero common sense, Fisher's tragicomic character essentially functioned as the Ghost of Christmas Future for good old Liz Lemon, a harrowing warning of what her own future might bring if she follows her own path and doesn't abide by the corporate rules.

    In the second brilliant plot thread, Tracy Jordan tries to rebel against his corporate overlords by organizing a dog-fighting ring, the one thing semi-malevolent, semi-benign father figure Jack Donaghy has warned him not to do. In one of the funniest scenes in the history of the show, Jordan goes to therapy with Donaghy and in a bravura comic turn ,Donaghy role-plays everyone in Jordan's past as a different black icon. His father magically becomes Redd Foxx on Sanford and Son before Donaghy delivers both a surprisingly dead-on Tracy Jordan impersonation and a shockingly convincing, hilariously out-of-place J.J. Walker on Good Times impersonation. It's a brilliant reversal of the usual dynamic: Here, Donaghy is the goofy cut-up doing all sorts of weird, crazy shtick and Tracy Jordan proves a stellar straight man.

    It called to mind all the impressive impersonations Baldwin does on Saturday Night Live and highlighted what an amazing comic performer Baldwin can be. Baldwin should win an Emmy for that scene alone. I know I've complained about Donaghy going too broad and wacky before, but this time his crazy shtick served a definite purpose: he was keeping one of his stars sane and in the fold. So in this case, acting a fool was both gut-bustingly funny and very savvy from a business perspective.

    The show's third plot about Kenneth the Page in a page-off with the sinister head page was a lot weaker, but it didn't take up too much time and the show's other plots more than made up for its relative weakness. As a comedy nerd, political buff, and hip-hop head, I love that there is a show on national television that makes jokes about Laugh-In, H.R. Haldeman, and Mos Def's verboseness. That Geek cover story didn't read "Tina Fey is smarter than you" for nothing. One of the things I love about 30 Rock is its understated reverence for comedy's past, which thankfully never lapses into Studio 60-style pretension. Fisher's character was a definite icon seemingly based on some of Saturday Night Live's original female writers, but she was also blissfully mad as a hatter and crazy as a loon. Also there can never be enough Spiro Agnew-based humor, says I. It's funny cause it's true.

    I was a little worried that 30 Rock was overdosing on the Family Guy-style non sequiturs and digressions, but this was network television at its finest, a definite high water mark for the show. Let's hope 30 Rock can maintain this level of inspiration next week.moreless
  • Alec Baldwin steals this episode with his role-playing as Tracy's father.

    Alec Baldwin steals this episode with his role-playing as Tracy's father. He pushes the boundaries of taste in his impersonations of racial stereotypes. It only works, in my opinion, because he is playing out the scene with a black actor and that makes it "okay."

    Carrie Fisher is excellent as Liz' idol who turns out to have feet of clay. I think Jack's exact line about her encounter is "Never go with a hippie to a second location." It's a great line which also happens to be true, in my experience. The show's writers continue to give Baldwin's character some of the greatest lines in sitcom history.moreless
  • Liz meets her idol, but she turns out to be something else than Liz thought she was.

    I though it was a good storyline – many people have experienced idolizing a person just to later learn that they weren't as they imagined. Liz is the ultimate rambling fan when she first meets Rosemary, and ends up inviting her to be a guest writer on the show. However, Rosemary turns out to be a bit too radical for NBC, and Jack orders Liz to fire her. Liz stands up to him and refuses. He fires her too but it doesn't seem to bother her. Not until she sees what Rosemary's life is really like. It was a nice wake-up call for Liz, and I liked the scene where she realizes that she doesn't want to be Rosemary after all. The final scene between Liz and Jack was very good and filled with punch lines. A part from that, Jack acting out Tracy's family was a really fun moment, which made me laugh. I didn't think the plot of Jenna running Kenneth's page jacket was that bad either, but it was a bit random when all of the pages were in the basement chanting and acting crazy.moreless
  • Carrie Fisher (better known as Princess Leia) guest stars, Liz Lemon wins the "GE Followship Award," and Tracey starts dogfighting

    This is definitely one of the top episodes from this season. First of all, Carrie Fisher is easily my favorite guest star; David Schwimmer was sort of a joke and I'm not totally sold on the Edie Falco/C.C. storyline.

    The best part of this episode was definitely the therapy scene between Tracey and Jack, and then the therapist's commentary on the side ("I think we're just doing Good Times now"). As probably "politically incorrect" as it was -- totally hilarious. Racial stereotypes were obviously being made fun of, not encouraged as being right.

    My second favorite part was probably the Liz Lemon GE Followship storyline that starts off the episode. When Jack asks if she'll put her $10,000 award into a 401k or something, she's like, "I've got like twelve grand in checking." Jack's response? "Are you an immigrant or something?" Then it brings in Rosemary, who's trying to convince Liz to "break boundaries," so much so that she quits her job. But when Liz realizes Rosemary's wrecked life and realizes she doesn't want to be a future Rosemary, she books it out of there, goes back to her job, and needs to do "that thing that rich people do; make money into more money."

    Of course, there's the "you're my only hope" line that comes out of all of this.

    The only real "what was that for?!" storyline in the episode was obviously Kenneth losing his page jacket because of Jenna. Really unnecessary and not that funny, in the end. It was probably just to spotlight Paul Scheer, who had a guest role as the head of the NBC pages. I wasn't that impressed and didn't see it fitting into the storyline well at all.

    Other than that, hilarious episode.moreless
  • Liz's idol returns!

    Liz lontime idol Rosmary Howard returns played by Carrie fisher, whose last time she was on televison she was on "On the Lot" I hope the show returns next season. I enjoy it very much. Her behavior has cased her plenty of stress. When Rosemary got fired, Liz got fired as well. At least she got rehired in the end. Tracy wanted to staart a dogfight ring (That sort of thiong has happened to Michael vick, look what happened to him) Tracy ended up visiting a therapist. Well Written. It's the best episode of the series. And I'm still mad at Maxim for naming her the ten ugylist women on televison.moreless
Paul Scheer

Paul Scheer

Donnie the Page

Guest Star

Jean Villepique

Jean Villepique


Guest Star

Elijah Cook

Elijah Cook

Young Tracy

Guest Star

Maulik Pancholy

Maulik Pancholy


Recurring Role

Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown

Walter "Dotcom" Slattery

Recurring Role

Grizz Chapman

Grizz Chapman


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (19)

    • Liz: It was terrible. I went to [Rosemary's] apartment. I don't think she has a toilet. I saw my future, Jack.
      Jack: Never go with a hippie to a second location.

    • Liz: Rosemary says that women become obsolete in this business when there's no one left that wants to see them naked.
      Jack: You make enough money, you can pay people to look at you naked.

    • Liz: Alright, I need my job back. But this is not crawling. This is proud begging, like those kids that dance on the subway.

    • Liz: Is that guy carrying a gun?
      Rosemary: Yeah, but don't worry, he's not a cop.

    • Rosemary: Now that you're free, we can work on something together.
      Liz: Yeah, we can start our own network called Bitch TV... or the second idea that we think of.

    • Liz: This is my show.
      Jack: No, this is my show, and once a week I rent it out to the good people at the erectile dysfunction companies.

    • Liz: You are a suit. You feed off the creativity and hard work of other people and turn it into commercials, and, and pie charts, and triangle graphs.
      Jack: What's a triangle graph?
      Liz: I don't know, it sounded real.

    • Jack: (to Liz) You got into this business because you're funny and you're weird and you're socially retarded.

    • Jack: Oh, God, "push the envelope". You know who uses that phrase? People who don't have the guts or the brains to work inside the system—letter writers, radicals, Howard Dean.

    • Jack: (about Rosemary) Fire her, and don't ever make me talk to a woman that old again.

    • Pete: Hey, Props gave me a bunch of dog penises for you to look at.

    • Jenna: You've probably never seen breasts before, so I'm gonna lean over this desk, and you're gonna give me a new page jacket.
      Donnie: Please, I breastfed til I was eleven, so I've forgotten more about a woman's chest than you'll ever know.

    • Tracy: If you desecrate something, is that bad?

    • Liz: I grew up wanting to be you.
      Rosemary: I grew up wanting to be Samantha Stevens on Bewitched, but the closest I got was being married to a gay guy for two years.

    • Jack: Tracy, we're going to do this together. You've got to get into therapy.
      Tracy: I don't need therapy! I'm just mentally ill.

    • Liz: You are my heroine. And by heroine, I mean "lady hero." I don't mean I want to inject you and listen to jazz.

    • Liz: You're honestly telling me you don't know who Rosemary Howard is?
      Pete: Is she one of the ladies who tried to shoot Gerald Ford?

    • Jack: Where do you invest your money, Liz?
      Liz: I have, like, twelve grand in checking.
      Jack: Are you...an immigrant?

    • Jack: When I think of the free-spirited Liz Lemon I met just one year ago, so resistant to product integration, cross-promotion, and adverlingus, it pleases me to see how well she's learned to follow.

  • NOTES (4)

    • The German episode title is "Rosemary's Baby". The French title is "Rosemary's bébé", and the Spanish title is "El bebé de Rosemary", both exact translations. The Italian title is "La fuga di Liz", meaning "Liz's Escape".

    • International Airdates: Czech Republic: March 29, 2010 on Prima COOL

    • Michael Engler was nominated for a 2008 DGA Award in the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series for his work on this episode.

    • This episode was part of the show's Emmy Awards 'For Your Consideration' DVD for this season, and Jack Burditt was nominated in the Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series category for his work on this episode. Vanja Cernjul was also nominated for Outstanding Cinematography For A Half-hour Series and Michael Engler was nominated for Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series. Carrie Fischer was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series.


    • The title of this episode is a reference to the 1967 book and 1968 movie, Rosemary's Baby.

    • Responding to Jack asking what he didn't want him to do, Tracy queries, "That 227 movie, New Jackée City?" 227 was an NBC sitcom that ran from 1985 to 1990. Actress Jackée Harry rocketed to stardom portraying Sandra.

    • Rosemary: Don't you get it? The mailbox was Haldeman.

      H.R. Haldeman was Richard Nixon's Chief of Staff during the Watergate scandal.

    • Pete wonders if Rosemary Howard is, "one of the ladies who tried to shoot Gerald Ford," thinking of Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme and Sara Jane Moore. They each unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate President Gerald Ford 17 days apart in 1975.

    • When Jack was role playing as Tracy's father, he uttered the line: "Lady, just because I'm an ignorant black man, and you paid me a nickel to bust up your chifferobe..." This is a direct allusion to Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. In the story, a black man (Tom Robinson) was charged with raping a white girl (Mayella Ewell). Before the incident, Mayella had offered to pay Tom a nickel to bust up a chifferobe of hers.

    • Rosemary : Help me Liz Lemon, you're my only hope!

      This line is adapted from the original Star Wars movie A New Hope, in which Princess Leia (also played by Carrie Fisher) says, "Help me Obi Wan, you're my only hope."