I kind of love that NBC’s strategy for ratings is to revert to the most traditional television production in existence.
THR has an overview of the differences, but there are many more little ones so you’ll have to watch both eps to catch them.
The Big Cameo
30 Rock ripped the band-aid in the opening scene when Liz (Tina Fey) acknowledged that anything could happen on live television. For the East Coast that meant Paul McCartney dropping by Jack’s (Alec Baldwin) office to use his private bathroom. For the west coast? Kim Kardashian. Advantage: East Coast.
Duplicating the previous live episode’s intro, the musical number was performed by Jane Krakowski, with returning guest Cheyenne Jackson singing in her place, three hours later. Jackson’s appearance was welcome after such a long absence from the series, but it’s nearly impossible to top Krakowski breaking out into earnest song. Advantage: East Coast.
Choosing between Chris Parnell and Chris Parnell is a real Sophie’s Choice, but the Nazi jokes from the first broadcast got a little old during the Chatterton Cigarettes commercials — especially when the West Coast enjoyed the revelation that Leo Spaceman’s father was gay. Advantage: West Coast.
Apollo 13 Newscast
Thankfully, both coasts got a dose of Jon Hamm during racist 1950s show Alfie and Abner — so he didn’t really need to reappear as a sexist newscaster, as he did in the first broadcast. The West Coast was treated to Brian Williams, uttering the same misogynist banter. Advantage: West Coast.
Yes, both coasts caught Jimmy Fallon and Amy Poehler as younger Jack and Liz, but Fred Armisen’s hilarious cameo as a nosy woman in the phone bank seemed to be cut short in the second outing. Advantage East Coast.
Though Kim Kardashian gets points for making a joke about breaking a toilet, the reappearance of Paul McCartney was still the tops. And only the East Coast was treated to the surreal sight of Jack and and Pete (Scott Adsit) making out as the curtain closed. Advantage: East Coast.
Maron is now on YouTube posting clips from his live WTF shows. Smart move.
Click through to watch live.