Last night’s NBC sitcom “30 Rock” featured a town called Stone Mountain, Georgia. But nobody would mistake it for the actual Stone Mountain. Nonetheless, mayor Gary Peet wasn’t perturbed a bit.
“It was kind of harmless,” Peet, mayor for the past eight years. “It was so disconnected from reality, it doesn’t really matter.”
The show’s writers used the name Stone Mountain (hometown of a former “30 Rock” writers Donald Glover) simply because it sounded like a hick town that Kenneth the page (played by former Conyers resident Jack McBrayer) might have come from.
The plotline: Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) is seeking talent for the sketch show from a place that isn’t elitist such as San Francisco or New York. So he and Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) fly down to Kenneth’s hometown. (You can watch the episode here on hulu.)
While Jack espouses Stone Mountain as “real America,” Liz argues that no one area of America represents America.
“You’re wrong,” Jack says. “Small towns are where you see kindness and goodness and courage of every day Americans, the folks who teach our kids, run our prisons and grow our cigarettes, people still living by core American values.”
The “30 Rock” imagining of Stone Mountain is very very white and hayseed. The actual city of Stone Mountain is majority black.
There is no comedy club named the Laugh Factory there. But they do have a Dugan’s Tavern.
There is no Fatty Fat’s Sandwich Ranch. But there’s an Applebee’s.
There is no such thing as a carp Po’ boy with extra chuckle. But the Sycamore Grill reportedly has yummy grits.
And Stone Mountain is not home to popular ventriloquist Rick Wayne and his puppet Pumpkin, who Jack almost hired to be on the New York-based sketch show. But Wayne insulted Jack so heavily, Jack jumped on the stage of the Laugh Factory and stomped Pumkin’s head off.
In reality, Wayne is Jeff Dunham. The puppeteer is so popular now that he has his own Comedy Central show, which opened to more than 5.4 million viewers last week. And he is practically in Dane Cook territory, likely to fill a good portion (if not all) of Philips Arena December 29.
Peet said “30 Rock” wasn’t exactly his cup of tea in terms of TV viewing but he did say it had funny moments. Indeed, I thought the secondary plotlines were more amusing. (Jenna trying to be nice to the writers and Tracy frightened by becoming the third celebrity to die in the “rule of threes”). And why didn’t they have Kenneth fly down with Liz and Jack to give them a tour of Stone Mountain? Then again, they did have McBrayer play folks who look an awful lot like him.