Tuesday, February 8, 2011


By no stretch of even my twisted imagination could this be considered a crossover between '30 Rock' and 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'. And it can't be added to the official tally of shows in which John Munch made an appearance.

This is a Zonk, a discrepancy, NOT a crossover. This is Richard Belzer appearing as John Munch. In all of those other appearances, Munch showed up as "himself". Here he's a fictional character in an NBC TV show.

Now, that TV show isn't named, but why should I have to jump through the hoops to create a splainin in which Belzer and Ice-T weren't on screen as Munch and Finn, but as characters based on those "real-life" cops?

(Don't mind me. I'm just grumpy from all that snow and I think that groundhog lied to me last week.)

I would have made the effort if it was a singular case, but this is '30 Rock'. There have been plenty of allusions to other TV shows as TV shows when instead they should all be sharing the same TV dimension.

We just had one last week that worked perfectly and quickly became near and dear to my 'Lost'-lovin' heart - Tracy referred to Charles Widmore of 'Lost' as a real person.

But here's just a sampling of other allusions that are Zonks, culled from the '30 Rock' page at TV.com:

From "Rosemary's Baby"

Responding to Jack asking what he didn't want him to do, Tracy queries, "That '227' movie, New Jackée City?"
'227' was an NBC sitcom that ran from 1985 to 1990. Actress Jackée Harry rocketed to stardom portraying Sandra.

From "Subway Hero"
Dennis claims he and Liz are, "like Ross and Rachel, but just not gay," referring to characters from 'Friends'.

From "Cougars"
Frank mentions he "can't take this Sam and Diane thing anymore," referring to 'Cheers' and the on-again off-again relationship between two main characters, Sam and Diane.

From "Sandwich Day":
Liz declares she's going to be a Marcia Brady, not a Jan Brady, referring to sisters from 'The Brady Bunch'. An object then hits her in the face, prompting her to exclaim, "ow, my nose!" similar to what happens to Marcia in the episode, "The Subject Was Noses".

So this TV on TV scene featuring 'L&O: SVU' was the Zonk that paralyzed the camel. I've been suggesting I would do this since the series started, but it's finally time.....

'30 Rock' is banished to an alternate dimension.

It won't be alone there, so don't feel sorry for them. This will be the TV dimension that treats Earth Prime-Time as just other TV shows. That's not to say it's exactly like Earth Prime, our world (the Trueniverse); not when characters from Earth Prime-Time can be transported into this new TV dimension. (Let's call it Earth Prime-Time Zonks {Earth PTZ} for now. I'm willing to accept suggestions for anything catchier.)

Here are some of the other shows which share the same banishment:


'The Larry Sanders Show'



'Amazing Stories' - the "Remote Control Man" episode

'Hi Honey, I'm Home'

And these TV movies would be included as well:
"Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure"

"Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Charlie's Angels'"

"Frankie Howerd: Rather You Than Me"

"Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Three's Company'"

"Roseanne and Tom: Behind the Scenes"

"Roseanne: An Unauthorized Biography"

"Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter"


"The Curse of Steptoe"

(I wish the British would make one of those behind-the-scenes TV movies about the making of 'Doctor Who'!)

That's not to say none of these tele-folks don't also exist in Earth Prime-Time as well. Most of them are multi-dimensional (as opposed to multiversal, like Bilbo Baggins or the Pigeon Sisters). In fact, I'm going to jump through one of those hoops right now - any time we watch an episode of these shows and it's completely Zonk-free, we can consider it to be the televersion from Earth Prime-Time.

But if there's even just one Zonk, where another TV show is mentioned as a TV Show, off it goes to Earth PTZ. Even if that Zonk could be easily splained away.

Consider it my version of a line item veto.



Lisa said...

Have you seen the Frankie Howerd movie? I've been looking for it online someplace. I loved Howerd and really want to see this one!

Toby O'B said...

No.... of that bunch, I'd have liked to have seen Jason Isaacs in the one about Steptoe & Son but I like David Walliams and would have enjoyed that one as well. I'm only familiar with Howerd in his brief cameo as the barrow boy in one of my top ten movies - the original "Ladykillers".....

Anonymous said...

The Munch/Tutuola footage was apparenty original material specifically filmed for the 30 Rock episode. This makes it kind of special.

Heiko Langhans
aka johnmunch from Tommy Westphall LJ