'30 Rock': Willy Wonka and the NBC factory

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Image Credit: Ali Goldstein/NBC

30 Rock is going out with a bang. Or a least with a wonderful tribute to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. In an effort to find his successor, Jack reinstated Kenneth the page to give a special VIP tour to the five final candidates for the position. The contenders (conveniently named Charlie, Veruca, Mike, Augustus, and Violet) were led to believe the tour was just a formality, but it was really the last part of the interview. Enter “NBC’s TV version of Willy Wonka starring Bob Uecker.”

Jack hoped the candidates would drop their guard, and then he could determine who to hire. But he and Kenneth didn’t see eye to eye on the qualities needed to fill the position. Jack wanted a bottom-line focused president, while Kenneth was searching for someone with a pure heart. So Jack booted Kenneth from his tour job, and Kenneth retaliated by pretending to be C.B. Essington (a corporate spy from CBS) hoping to trick Charlie into selling NBC’s secrets.

Charlie declined, and Kenneth thought he’d found the perfect president for NBC. But really, Charlie just wanted to strip NBC down and turn it into a Forever 21. Disheartened, Kenneth quit the page program. And Jack made a very surprising decision: Kenneth would be the new president of NBC.
Jack: “You like NBC, don’t you, Kenneth?”
Kenneth: “I think it’s the most wonderful place in the whole wide world.”
Jack: “Good. Because I’m giving it to you. The whole thing.”
The only thing missing from this scene was Jack and Kenneth skyrocketing out of 30 Rock in a glass elevator.

Meanwhile, Liz was still reeling over the cancellation of TGS. Jack couldn’t reverse Hank Hooper’s decision at the beginning of his tenure, so his offered Lemon a lifeline via a meeting with the board of Kabletown. She had one final chance to plead her case and convince the board TGS was better off alive than dead. If—and only if—that worked, Liz would have to revamp the show so it wouldn’t cost NBC any money at all.

Basically willing to do anything to save the show, Liz reached out to Bro Body Douche (Matt Oberg) to sponsor TGS so it could break even. The rest of the crew was, unsurprisingly, no help to her at all. Particularly Tracy and Jenna, who got distracted planning their next movie project, Heads of State: The Rise of Doctor Ronfulus. (Look for the Michael Bay Baio-directed film in theaters on 13-13-13, a.k.a. Jan. 13, 2014. You can’t miss it. They play Siamese twins, which is totally possible because they saw it on Maury.)

UP NEXT: TGS comes to an end, and Liz Lemon has a new beginning…

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