Last night the NBC Peacock plucked one of its brightest feathers as Thursday night comedy staple "30 Rock" aired its final episode. Since 2006, the show's cycled in some of the decade's most memorable music cameos and memorable original songs. With the show's theme and most of its original scores composed by star Tina Fey's real-life husband Jeffrey Richmond, music's always been a major part of the shows legacy. As a tribute to the "30 Rock" rolling away, here's our picks for five of the show's most memorable music moments.
5."Muffin Top" 2006
Since the very first episode, Jane Krakowski has played "Liz Lemon's" best friend and "T.G.S." star "Jenna Maroney" as the best kind of deluded attention-loving actress/singer that makes network-television trainwrecks so wonderful. As the lead song from her film "The Rural Juror" closed out the finale last night, many viewers had flashbacks to her first time closing out an episode with her Ghostface Killah-assited #1 in Israel hit "Muffin Top." It's the perfect song to play after any credits, once the tape stops rolling.
The Halloween of the show's second season was made all the more of a frighteningly good time by "Tracy Jordan's" brief recollection of his hit novelty song "Werewolf Bar Mitzvah." Co-written by then-writer (and future Childish Gambino) Donald Glover, the brief clip was such a smash among viewers that NBC releaseda full-length version of the track
just in time for Halloween, offering a night of trick-or-treating shortly before the real life writer's strike.
3."Quarter to Midnight Train to Georgia" 2007
Speaking of the writer's strike of 2007, it was a time of unsettling uncertainty. There was always the fear of the network perhaps making a rash decision and pulling the plug on everything, so in what could have very well be the show's final scene ever, NBC page Kenneth Parcell teased leaving the network and taking, as the song goes, the "Midnight Train to Georgia." Lucky for us, Parcell just missed it and the writer's strike was eventually resolved with the show intact.
2."He Needs a Kidney" 2009
One of the show's crowning musical moments came at the finale of the third season when exec Jack Donaghy needed to find a kidney for his father (Alan Alda) and assembled a gigantic roster of all-star musicians for a celebrity charity single called "He Needs a Kidney" to benefit his father's Kidney Now! foundation. A funny as the song itself is, no amount of money can match the debt we owe "30 Rock" for the cosmic energy birthed from assembling Michael McDonald, Cyndi Lauper and two of the Beastie Boys in the same place at the same time.
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Of course, the beauty of doing a network television show in the access to licensed music most other comedy outlets wouldn't have access to. "30 Rock" made great uses of these opportunities, with our favorite being Liz and Tracy arguing to the tune of Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl." Not only did the tension mesh inexplicably well with the harmonies, but it shows the benefits of breaking into a live song mid-scene that make it the well executed comedy equivalent of Dancer in the Dark. "30 Rock" is just about the only show on television where a scene like that could take place, and we will miss it.