The Schmooze

Shalom, ‘30 Rock’! We Rank The Show’s Jewish One-Liners As It Leaves Netflix

Who by fire? And who by water? Who by sword? And who by no deal getting made between Netflix and NBC executives?

“30 Rock,” one of the human race’s best ever efforts, is leaving Netflix on October 1st and heading to Hulu. Here is our ranking of the top Jewish lines from the show, before it heads behind yet another paywall.

16.Scene: Kenneth handing out presents to “TGS” staffers, Season 2, episode 9
Line: “Merry Christmas (hands out present) Merry Christmas (hands out present) Merry Jewish (hands present to Josh, the show’s Jewish actor.)
Our reaction: Like all Jews on Christmas, we’re happy just to be included.

15.Scene: Tracy Jordan forgetting his lines in a movie, Season 4, episode 14
Line: “Honey, I’m home! Pac-man, I’m Jewish!”
Our reaction: We’ll take it!

14.Scene: Jack accidentally did a DNA test on Jenna Maroney, Season 7, episode 9
Line: “So Jenna is an Ashkenazi Jew with an extra Y chromosome?”
Our reaction: Anything to hear the word “Ashkenazi” said on national television!

13.Scene: Jack has lured his biological father, Milton Greene, to NBC by pretending he won a contest, Season 3, episode 21
Line: “Screw you! And your fakakte contest!”
Our reaction: Now we’re doing it

12.Scene: Kenneth tries caffeine for the first time, Season 2, episode 10
Line: “It’s not just the coffee. I also went to a PG-13 movie. I-I bought a pair of sunglasses. I tried a Jewish doughnut. I’d always been told that New York was the 21st century. And look what’s happened. I’ve become one of them. I’ve been sodomized.”
Our reaction: Jewish doughnuts! Sodom! We invented both.

11.Scene: Jack is rationalizing marrying his girlfriend, a confirmed murderer
Line: “Being in a relationship means overlooking certain flaws. I mean, somewhere, right now, a guy is on a J-Date with Monica Lewinsky. Nobody’s perfect.”
Our reaction: Monica Lewinsky does not deserve to be made fun of. But if you were going to be made fun of so enduringly, wouldn’t you want the kind of gold standard mocking “30 Rock” can produce?

10.Scene: An aging NBC actor is touring the studio, Season 2, episode 12
Line: (Gesturing to the writers’ room) “We used to call this ‘the Jew room.’”
Our reaction: We will always embrace the stereotype that all Jews are funny writers no matter how otherwise anti-semitic the speaker is, and that is a promise.

9.Scene: Danny doesn’t understand sarcasm, Season 4, episode 8
Line: “I’m sorry, are you being sarcastic? Canadians have a hard time recognizing it ‘cause we don’t have a big Jewish population.”
Our reaction: Praise be to “30 Rock” for these semi-flattering Jewish stereotypes.

8.Scene: As a cost-saving measure the “TGS” stage is being rented out for Bat Mitzvah parties, and Liz listens in on a dad giving a toast, Season 5, episode 11
Line: “When Madison was born I said Rivkah, my shveltz is filled with spoinkus.”
Our reaction: When I hear that line I feel so proud that my schveltz gets filled with schpoinkus.

7.Scene: Josh, TGS’s Jewish actor, and Josh’s Jewish lawyer, are negotiating his contract, Season 1, episode 15
Line: “Josh is looking for a 15% raise, a 2-pic guarantee from Universal, and time off for every Jewish holiday no matter how ridiculous.”
Our reaction: There is nothing ridiculous about taking off every Rosh Chodesh to celebrate it the way it is meant to be celebrated.

6.Scene: Tracy Jordan is trying to do his taxes, Season 6, episode 14
Line: “I don’t trust my accountant. I think he’s lying to me about being Jewish. I step on more wine glasses than he does!”
Our reaction: Was this joke written by Maimonides? ‘Cause it’s brilliant. At first, it seems like just an unfunny reference to the fact that a lot of Jews are accountants, then it builds to an anti-semitic stereotype about Jewish money-handlers being untrustworthy, then it explodes.

5.Scene: Jenna is asked to attend a Bar Mitzvah party as a paid guest, Season 6, episode 5
Line: “Getting paid to help a boy become a man is kind of my wheelhouse.”
Our reaction: This is perfection.

4.Scene: Kenneth is talking to “Kenneth Toiletbowl” (Liz Lemon) about the hardships of his new job Season 6, episode 10
Line: “If I can’t even get my friend Liz — at least I thought she was my friend — to respect me, how will I ever run a network and boss around those Jewish executives that were trained from birth to argue?”
Our reaction: You never will, Kenneth! You never will! Let our years of mock trial and extra-long magid discussions strike fear into your heart.

3.Scene: Jack is trying to get in touch with “real Americans”, Season 4, episode 3
Line: See above
Our reaction: New York Magazine called this “the perfect joke” and we bow to their carefully ruinous explanation.

2.Scene: Jenna asks Kenneth’s mom’s friend Ron to play her one of his original compositions, Season 7, episode 2
Line: “Sing one for me now for inspiration! I’m not going to steal it. But if I do, don’t even bother lawyering up. I’ll have my Jews on you so fast you’ll think you’re an Asian girl.”
Our reaction: This joke is as edgy as a mohel’s knife, but back then we thought America was ready for it.

1.Scene: Tracy performs his novelty party song, “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah”, Season 2, episode 2
Line: “I was working late on my haftarah when I heard a knock on my bedroom door-a…Werewolf bar mitzvah, spooky, scary!/Boys becoming men, men becoming wolves.”
Our reaction: This was the moment it became clear Judaism would survive the modern age.

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We’ll miss you on Netflix, “30 Rock”!

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See you soon on Hulu!

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Ok just one more

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No, you hang up!

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Jenny Singer is a writer for the Forward. You can reach her at Singer@forward.com or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny

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Shalom, ‘30 Rock’! We Rank The Show’s Jewish One-Liners As It Leaves Netflix

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