‘30 Rock’ Goes Viral as X Users Blergh Into the Holidays Sharing Fave Tina Fey Show Jokes

Fans embrace a cheerier use for the platform formerly known as Twitter

A group of people including two white women, and three men (two white, one Black) stand on stage sharing a happy moment.
Jack McBrayer, Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski and Alec Baldwin (Getty Images)

It started simply enough, with a discussion building on X (formerly Twitter) about why the Tina Fey-created “30 Rock” hasn’t seemed to generate the same warm nostalgia that “The Office” and, to a lesser extent, “Parks and Recreation” have in the decade since their 2000s into 2010s runs. That’s despite the show — which ran for seven seasons from 2006 to 2013 on NBC and won 16 Emmys including three Outstanding Comedy Series awards — being noted for the quality and density of its joke-writing

One take that caught on was Quinton Hoover noting that, while “30 Rock” is the funniest, its lead Liz Lemon (played by Tina Fey) “is much less inherently relatable than people working mundane and mostly pointless jobs out of necessity for a decade.” In the show, Lemon is the head writer for a sketch comedy series on NBC, inspired by Fey’s time as head writer for “Saturday Night Live.”

But that discourse turned into the show’s fans furiously defending it. Comedian and actor Paul McCallion helped with that shift, sharing his own favorite joke — an exchange between Elaine Stritch’s Colleen Donaghy and her character’s son, Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy — and prompting other users to share their own.

The post, shared Thursday evening, picked up steam and has been viewed more than 34 million times as of the writing of this story. It’s been retweeted nearly 3,000 times, with many quote-tweets going on to add their own favorite “30 Rock” jokes to the chorus.

The show’s 2023 viral moment got noticed by “30 Rock” streaming home Peacock, with the platform’s social account joining in the fun:

Of course, like many if not most comedies of an era before the present, a number of the jokes don’t hold up to the standards of modern sensibilities. Tina Fey notably made the choice in 2020, amidst the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement following the killing by police of George Floyd, to remove multiple episodes of the show from streaming platforms that included the use of blackface.

Between all the joke sharing, users both debated and poked fun at the handwringing over the show’s diversity-related failures in certain areas.

That includes the intense writers’ room, which featured staff often working late into the night to create comedic perfection.

As well as jokes on the show’s successor, Tina Fey’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”

The discourse also turned to this being a better use of X than all of the divisive moments the platform has spawned, particularly in the wake of Elon Musk purchasing the site.

Though, maybe it didn’t completely save the platform:

Of course, the show fell in a time — running from 2006 until 2013 — when its ratings were decent, but borderline. In an earlier era, it may have been more quickly canceled, while later, it may have gone directly to streaming. That was the fate of “Kimmy Schmidt.”

That lack of broad appeal for not only “30 Rock” but some of those other fondly remembered NBC sitcoms was something Tina Fey herself quipped about in a recent appearance inducting Emma Stone into the “SNL” Five-Timers Club.

“Network TV was in its heyday. I mean, my show, ’30 Rock,’ was watched by 6 million people,” Fey said to cheers from the crowd. But when Emma Stone asked if that was a lot, Fey replied, “At the time, no. But today… no.”

There’s plenty more “30 Rock” discourse that has hit the timeline in the last few days, and plenty more that could be discussed. But, it’s the holidays. Let’s enjoy some jokes. Here are a few of the numerous favorites people have shared:

Or, if you just want to sit in some existential despair, here’s one last take for you:

Happy holidays!


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