|30 Rock episode|
The Lemon family takes a picture with Jack at an iceskating rink
|Directed by||Don Scardino|
|Written by||Tami Sagher|
|Featured music||"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" performed by Jenna Maroney played by Jane Krakowski|
|Cinematography by||Vanja Černjul|
|Original air date||December 13, 2007|
"Ludachristmas" is the ninth episode of the second season of the television series 30 Rock and was first broadcast on December 13, 2007, on the NBC network in the United States. The episode was written by Tami Sagher and directed by Don Scardino. Guest stars in this episode include Kevin Brown, Kay Cannon, Grizz Chapman, Anita Gillette, Selena Gonzalez, Buck Henry, John Lutz, John F Mooney, Maulik Pancholy, Andy Richter and Elaine Stritch.
In this episode, Liz Lemon's (Tina Fey) family (Anita Gillette, Buck Henry, and Andy Richter) visit her for the holidays and Jack Donaghy's (Alec Baldwin) mother, Colleen Donaghy (Elaine Stritch), also visits him for the holidays. The cast and writers of TGS with Tracy Jordan, a fictional sketch comedy series, prepare to attend their annual Ludachristmas party. Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) is ordered by a court to wear an alcohol monitoring device.
Jack is delighted when he thinks his mother, Colleen, is unable to visit him for the holidays due to her flight from Florida being grounded by Hurricane Zapato. Unexpectedly, Colleen arrives because she was able to travel by bus to Atlanta and get a flight from there. Also arriving at 30 Rockefeller Plaza is Liz's family, including her brother Mitch who has "Trauma Induced Nivea Aphasia" which means that his memory is stuck on December 7, 1985, and he believes that he is still 17 years old, when he is actually 40. Jack's mother immediately dislikes the Lemons due to their constant optimism and happiness. Colleen sets out to show Jack that they're just as screwed up as their relationship is. Jack, Colleen and the Lemons spend the day together and eventually end up going to dinner with each other. At the dinner, Colleen comments that it appears that Liz is the "favorite" child leading Mitch to reveal that his parents, Dick and Margaret, took him to see The Goonies in 1985 when they should have been watching Liz at her football game. Liz then gets into in argument with her parents, culminating in her accidentally revealing to Mitch that he is in fact 40 years old. The Lemons then spiral into a drunken fight, unknowingly falling for Colleen's plan.
Meanwhile, the cast and writers of TGS are preparing their annual Ludachristmas party in the writer's room. Tracy is annoyed because he is unable to attend due to a recent order from a courtroom judge which requires him to wear an alcohol monitoring ankle bracelet. Kenneth Parcell (Jack McBrayer) is also annoyed because he believes that none of the staff know what the true meaning of Christmas is. He cancels Ludachristmas and makes the staff sit through a talk, led by himself and Reverend Gary (John F Mooney), about the meaning of Christmas. This inspires the cast and writers to run outside of 30 Rock and tear down the big Christmas tree which is outside the building. Kenneth eventually stops their efforts and Tracy reveals that he has been drinking alcohol when he should not have been.
The episode ends with the TGS cast and crew celebrating Christmas with each other and while at the dinner with the Lemons who are still arguing Jack says to Colleen "Merry Christmas Mother" revealing that he's happy to see the Lemons aren't so perfect after all.
The storyline in this episode, which features Tracy having to wear an ankle bracelet to monitor alcohol levels in his sweat due to a driving under the influence arrest, is based on events which actually happened to actor Tracy Morgan, who portrays Tracy Jordan. Morgan has twice been arrested for drunk driving: once in December 2005 and once in November 2006. He was sentenced to 36 months probation, fined US$390, and mandated to attend an alcohol education program at the 2005 arrest. As a result of the 2006 arrest, Morgan was fined US$1000 and had his drivers license suspended for six months. Morgan was also ordered to wear a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM), "an ankle bracelet worn to test for alcohol vapors that come out of the skin".
NBC billed this episode on its press releases as "Episode 209". The episode had been unofficially titled "Ludachristmas", until it was confirmed by the second season DVD. Similarly, the following episode also remains unnamed and is officially known as "Episode 210".
Kay Cannon, a writer for 30 Rock, appears in this episode as a Human Table at the Ludachristmas party. Cannon previously appeared as an unnamed wife character in "Fireworks", an episode of the first season. Cannon co-wrote "The Head and the Hair", an episode of the first season, and "Somebody to Love", an episode of the second season. Both episodes were co-written with the series creator, Tina Fey.
The episode brought in an average 5.6 million American viewers upon its original broadcast in the United States, achieving a 2.8/7 in the key 18- to 49-year-old demographic. The 2.8 refers to 2.8% of all people of ages 18–49 years old, and the 7 refers to 7% of all people of ages 18–49 years old watching television at the time of the broadcast. It ranked second place in the 18–49 demographic and tied with CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode "Lying Down With Dogs" for first place among men aged 18–49.
Matt Webb Mitovich of TV Guide wrote that "it's hard to make a 'true meaning of Christmas' story seem fresh. That's why this week's Kenneth/No LudaChristmas bit was a bit lame, in my opinion", although he did say "the A story [featuring Jack and Liz's respective families] fared a bit better". Bob Sassone of AOL's TV Squad thought that this episode was "a modern, irreverent look at [Christmas]". Jeff Labrecque of Entertainment Weekly thought that Buck Henry and Andy Richter were both "destined to play" their roles. He also wrote that "[Elaine] Stritch wasn't as brilliant as she's been in previous appearances, but she's always welcome, simply because her character riles Jack." Robert Canning of IGN wrote that this episode "had all the trimmings for a holiday classic, though it fell just shy of that pantheon." He added that "this may not have been the 30 Rock holiday classic people were hoping for, but it was a solid, funny episode nonetheless." Canning rated this episode 8 out of 10.
Elaine Stritch was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for this episode.
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Those are two of our writers. That was Dave Finkel and Kay Cannon, in fact Dave Finkel and Brett Baer are a writing team that original penned this episode.
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Thursday at 9 pm ET, 30 Rock (2.8/7 in 18–49, 5.6 million viewers overall) ranked No. 2 in adults 18–49, trailing only an original CSI on CBS. 30 Rock ranked No. 1 among men 18–34, tied with CSI.[permanent dead link]
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