Quick spoilers for tonight's "30 Rock" coming up just as soon as my fontanelle closes...
I use the phrase "funny forgives a lot" in my "30 Rock" reviews when an episode fails to cohere but is still entertaining. My problem with the season's early episodes is that they weren't even funny enough to merit forgiveness.
That changed with "Audition Day," which still wasn't "30 Rock" at its peak but which had one perfect, hilarious sequence that almost singlehandedly redeemed the episode for me. Jack's bedbug ordeal leading him to be on the subway and asking for help in the same defeated, sing-song cadences that homeless panhandlers use when they deliver a speech to the whole car was the funniest moment so far of this "30 Rock" season, one of the funniest things Alec Baldwin has done on the show in a long time, and the funniest part of NBC's Thursday lineup tonight that didn't involve Ron Swanson talking about his love of brunette women and breakfast food. Just an outstanding example of a joke that was perfectly set-up and executed. (Moon Vest inching away from Jack like the rest of the passengers was the icing on the cake.)
The rest of "Audition Day" had some good moments - Kenneth hissing "Vampyr!" at the site of Jenna, Brian Williams' Jersey wiseguy character and, especially, Scott Adsit getting an unfortunately rare chance to let loose and be goofy as Pete tried to get The Hornberger System to work - and even managed to make Jenna seem human while sharing a subplot with Tracy.
But after not getting a lot of sleep last night thanks to the world champion New York Yankees, I shouldn't have been in any kind of shape to laugh as loudly as I did at the subway gag, and yet I did.
Great scene, and a solid enough episode to go with it.
What did everybody else think?