Monday, May 4, 2009


"Have you ever known anyone who killed somebody?
I think my grandfather may have,
But he never really liked to talk about what happened at Kent State
Liz Lemon
'30 Rock'

That quote came up in "The Ones", an episode which ran a couple weeks ago. It was thirty-nine years ago today that the 4 students at Kent State were killed at an anti-war rally. I don't know if the writers of '30 Rock' knew that the anniversary was coming up when they wrote that line, but it raises the question: "Is there a moratorium to observe when it comes to tragedy? And for how long?"

Lincoln's assassination has been fodder for jokes on TV - I'm thinking of the sketch about Lincoln's time machine in the Toonces special. And 'Family Guy' made a Pez connection to Kennedy's assassination in their first episode. Lots of TV shows have built episodes around the sinking of the Titanic and other tragedies.

But I don't know..... Something about the events at Kent State just don't feel right as a source for humor. That '30 Rock' line certainly brought me up short in what was otherwise a very funny episode......

What do you think?

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