The Jay-Z Cristal feud from last summer gets rehashed on tomorrow's episode of 30 Rock. You heard here first. And I got the news from, of all places, my rabbit-eared 15-inch television set, which aired, for some strange reason, this episode called "The Source Awards" tonight, February 28. I pick up local Canadian stations instead of actual NBC affiliates, which plan to show it tomorrow, March 1, during the network's usual Thursday line-up.
It's so rare that little old me gets an early scoop on anything wine-related that this naturally had me running off to blog as the credits began to roll. And so now, almost a full 24 hours before its American airing, I'm posting a spoiler. Yay! Spoiler!
Of course the sitcom's treatment is hardly news. It just satirizes the situation that Cristal-less Jay-Z created when he used a formidable boycott effort to stand up to a certain Champagne house's distain. Louis Roederer, which owns the Cristal brand, had insinuated that the image of their product was being hijacked through repeated use in hip hop videos.
This is a comedic springboard for 30 Rock. It introduces 10,000 cases of Donaghy Estates sparkling wine which immediately turns out to be severely undrinkable. Jack Donaghy, the likable big boss character played by Alec Baldwin, is in possession of the Long Island cuvées and obviously wants to unload the stuff. As luck would have it, hip hop showbiz personality Tracy Morgan seems to appreciate the wretched wine, downing it amid looks of shock and disbelief from those around him. So it isn't long until Donaghy Estates starts an ambitious marketing drive targeting the urban African American demographic. But hip-hop b-boy Tracy is the only brother who can stomach it. Mayhem ensues; guns go off. Racial tensions, rather than wine gone bad, become the crux of the wine debacle.
Which is exactly why this news item originally made headlines. It was about race, not about spoiled wine, or spoiling yourself with $600 wine, as the case may be.
As it turns out, some teasers of "The Source Awards" are available online. But they are only snippets and not the juicy parts when hip hop culture and haut Frenchiness clash. In fact, in the YouTube clip below you can only see a hint of the bottle of bubbly on Liz Lemon's desk (Liz Lemon is played by series creator Tina Fey, ex-SNL) and in another shot Jack Donaghy cradles a flute. The joke in this segment doesn't involve wine or rap though. It's about Condoleeza Rice and a surname that makes an unfortunate racial pun.
It's a very funny show, even if this isn't the best episode I've seen. Its witty handling of the Cristal to-do is definitely worth checking out. If you're not Canadian and have to wait for it, you can still catch it, but not until 9:30 pm ET. Instead of fretting about the U.S. lag, read up on the whole wine dispute from last summer, also courtesy of NBC.