“30 Rock” Scores With Bon Jovi and an Old Joke


The Liz Lemon romance on Thursday's "30 Rock" didn't live up to billing, and turned into a waste of Jon Hamm and Dean Winters. But the rest of the show was the usual superlative comedy.

Especially Jack Donaghy's (Alec Baldwin) budding relationship with a fast-talking CNBC talking head Avery Jessup (played fantastically by Elizabeth Banks). You will not find a better minute of television comedy than this clip of the fake talk show Hot Box.

Another great part of this story was Jack's enlisting of Jon Bon Jovi to approach him in a bid to impress Jessup. Bon Jovi gamely agrees and moments later makes his entrance only to have an annoyed Donaghy tell him of to buzz off, he's busy. Jessup is wowed and the deal is sealed.

But have we seen this gag before? Turns out Don Rickles had a very similar encounter re-discussed in this month's Vanity Fair. We'll let Rickles take it from here.

"Sinatra was headlining at the Sands and I was with this girl having dinner in the lounge. She wasn't anybody I would bring home to my mother, but I wanted to score big. Frank was in the lounge at his table with Lena Horne and some other celebrities and his security guard. And my date says, 'My God, there's Frank Sinatra! Do you know him.'

"So I said, 'Wait here sweetheart,'  and I went over to Frank's table. "What do you want Bullethead?" he said. That was his nickname for me. I told him I was trying to impress this girl and would he do me a very big favor and come over to just say hello. He said, 'For you Bullethead, I'll do it.'

"Five minutes later, Sinatra strolled over and said, 'Don, how the hell are you?'"

Rickles replied, "Not now, Frank. Can't you see I'm with someone?"

Leave it to Jack to take from the Old Masters.

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