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apropos of nothing

‘30 Rock’ Kicks ‘Studio 60’ One Last Time

Courtesy of NBC


Way back in 2006, when 30 Rock and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip premiered on NBC, you wouldn't have found many people who would bet that Tina Fey's behind-the-scenes-at-a-sketch- show sitcom would outlast Aaron Sorkin's behind-the-scenes-at-a-sketch-show drama. But that was before Fey's show shook off a crummy pilot and found its comedic stride, while Studio 60 quickly became a weekly airing of Aaron Sorkin's grudges against everyone who ever was mean to him. Soon Studio 60 was faltering, and 30 Rock — while not exactly a hit — was successful enough that Fey could take potshots at Sorkin, famously commenting on her outfit at the 2007 Writers Guild Awards, "I hear Aaron Sorkin is in Los Angeles wearing the same dress — but longer, and not funny."

Happily, the passing of time — and of Studio 60, which is long gone — has not lessened Fey's ire. She took one final shot at Sorkin's show last night.

Tim Conway showed up on 30 Rock as a onetime NBC star who's given a tour of the studio by Kenneth the Page. The subplot was an eerie throwback to Eli Wallach's guest spot on Studio 60, in one of the first episodes that made us get that "Uh-oh, maybe this whole thing is gonna suck" feeling, where Wallach played a former TV writer who returns to the studio to teach everyone a Valuable Lesson about The Blacklist and The Way Things Used to Be. Because this is 30 Rock, though, Tim Conway taught Kenneth that back in his day, pages were called "sandwich girls" for totally obscene reasons, male NBC stars all slept with each other, the NBC peacock got eaten, and the writers' room used to be called "the Jew room."

And that, if you're wondering, is why 30 Rock is better than Studio 60. But it's okay, Tina Fey! You can let it go. You won!