“No mask, hotshot?,” Lemon berates one New Yorker as she wears two masks: A standard purple one, then another underneath with a photo of her yelling mouth.
The hourlong, commercial-free special — which doubles as NBC’s television upfront pitch to advertisers — virtually (due to COVID-19) reunites Fey with original cast members Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, Jack McBrayer, and others.
“We’re all happy to have this excuse to (remotely) work together again for NBC,” Fey and Robert Carlock, the executive producers of 30 Rock, said in a statement following news of the sitcom’s return after ending in 2013. “To quote Kenneth the Page, there are only two things we love in this world, television and everyone.”
In June, Fey and Carlock asked that multiple episodes of 30 Rock that featured characters in blackface be removed from streaming services, digital platforms and syndication.
“As we strive to do the work and do better in regards to race in America, we believe that these episodes featuring actors in race-changing makeup are best taken out of circulation,” Fey wrote in a statement to companies that streamed or sold the show.
“I understand now that ‘intent’ is not a free pass for white people to use these images. I apologize for pain they have caused. Going forward, no comedy-loving kid needs to stumble on these tropes and be stung by their ugliness.”