Thursday, May 1, 2014


Last night I was on an airplane.

Artist's rendering.
And there were little TV screens in the seatbacks. If you had headphones, or were willing to pay the Low Price of $3 for a cheap Vietnamese and possibly toxic pair from the flight crew, you could listen to a wide variety of quality programming from A&E, the New York Times, and the New York City Fox affiliate.

Would you believe this is a real person
and not a "Saturday Night Live" character?
I, of course, had neither headphones nor three precious dollars that I was willing to part with. With which I was willing to part. Whatever. So I read my Nelson DeMille novel and occasionally sneaked peeks at the silently chattering screen before me. I saw previews of Wicked and an interview with Barney Frank and Melissa Clark (above) making some weird British cake thing. Wow, was I sober.

Then "30 Rock" came on the NYC Fox channel.

Let me tell you about "30 Rock." Precocious Daughter and I have been watching it on Netflix for the last month or so. And we are hooked. We typically watch a couple of episodes a night. Tina Fey is my ultimate frenemy: I think she's beautiful and smart and funny and talented and inspirational, and I hate her so much.

I love hate her so. fucking. much.
That's my problem, though.

Anyway. As I sat strapped into my 10th row coach seat, an episode of "30 Rock" appeared on the silent screen of pay-me. I watched it enough to determine that it was one PDaughter and I haven't seen yet. And someone is guest-starring in this episode who looks so damn familiar to me. I can't place him. It's driving me freaking insane. And I do my best to try to figure out the plot in pantomime so that eventually, when it comes up in sequence on Netflix, I can remember it and see who this fiendishly familiar actor is.

Mostly I realized that I am absolutely horrible at lip reading, because I couldn't figure out what the hell was going on, except that Kenneth seemed to be taking Jonathan's place as Jack's assistant.

This is sort of apropos of nothing, but it is PDaughter's dream
to acquire a black-and-white buffalo plaid shirt, red T, and
oversized glasses so that she can dress like Alec Baldwin
in Beetlejuice. As if I could make that up.
I tucked that away in the back of my mind, wondering if the stars would someday align and allow me to actually remember that I had seen this episode before at the time that I actually saw the episode when it came up in Netflix. Remember, I had a 2.5-hour flight delay, and by the time I landed in Dallas, I was so tired and loopy I thought I might possibly be a member of the Kardashian family.

Perhaps Bertha Kardashian, who preferred
a more naturalistic beauty.
Fast-forward to this evening. I had a frantic day of playing catch-up at work after less than five hours of sleep, so I might not even believe what I'm about to tell you, except that PDaughter can back me up, although maybe she won't because she doesn't necessarily wish to endorse my craziness.

After dinner we decided to watch a couple of episodes of "30 Rock" on Netflix. That's what we do when we're not watching a couple of episodes of "Hell's Kitchen" or a couple of episodes of "The IT Crowd" or some really mediocre movie like Odd Thomas that I'm told is not anywhere near as good as the book but does star Anton Yelchin which makes up for a lot if you're 14.

As if I understand 14-year-olds, and yes, this is
another reference to "The IT Crowd."
Anyway. Do I even have to make you guess which episode of "30 Rock" was next in the queue?


The episode that happened to be rerunning on NYC Fox 12 or 620 or whatever it is the night before, the one that I tried and failed to comprehend via lip reading, the one featuring an actor who was so familiar I wanted to French kiss the screen even though I couldn't for the life of me remember who he was, was the very next episode that PDaughter and I were queued up to watch on Netflix.

The odds of this are approximately holy-freaking-shitload to one against, if you're keeping score.

This seems pretty, said the person with zero understanding
of statistics and probability.
I didn't exactly pay close attention to the show, being too busy yelling "OH MY GOD, WHAT ARE THE ODDS, HOLY CRAP I'M SO FREAKED OUT." But I was able to IMDB the actor who seemed so damn familiar to me. Turns out it was Roger Bart, who played creepy George on "Desperate Housewives" and flamboyant Carmen Ghia in The Producers. Such a huge relief to know that.

But goddamn freaky to see the same episode two nights in a row on completely different media?

Also, does Roger Bart not look like a Matthew Broderick
action figure? Also, did I admit I watched
"Desperate Housewives"?
I know, it's totally just a coincidence. Unless I choose to interpret it as a sign, in which case I think I'm about to win the lottery and also start a new religion that reveres high foreheads.

I love coincidences, by the way, because they prove I don't have to worship a crucified Jew to believe in things I don't understand.

Did I mention I'm still running on less than five hours' sleep?

And that I hate Tina Fey and want to punch her in the pancreas right after I French kiss her and ask her for skin care advice?

I think I've covered tonight's topic in sufficient detail, in that case.

Excuse me while I form a religion that prays to airplane TVs.


  1. Wow that is weird. Like the TV gods are stalking you or something. I am so glad you figured out how you knew that actor. Not figuring that out is the most annoying thing in the world. Phew! I'm not a religious person, but bless IMDB.

  2. I thought you were already High Priestess of the Holy Church of Benedict Cumberbatch.

  3. I may or may not have started watching "Desperate Housewives" based on the fact that Nathan Fillion was in a later season, then got hooked enough to watch it religiously and named my sewing machine after one of them, but I can neither confirm or deny this.

  4. Beetlejuice Alec Baldwin is my favorite Baldwin of all time. And now Bertha Kardashian is my favorite Kardashian.
    I also frenehate Tina Fey (and her ability to make tons of money in comedy while having a vagina.) We're only human.


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