Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve were presumably very simple, paint by numbers romantic comedies whose success hinged more on jamming a hundred recognizable faces into their trailers than on any actual artistic merit. (“LOOGIT HONEY! IT’S THAT GUY FROM THE TEE VEE. AND HE’S IN A MOVIE WITH THE GIRL FROM THE TEE VEE. AND THERE’S THAT OTHER GUY FROM THE THING. IT MUST BE GOOD. LET’S SEE IT AND THEN GO GET DINNER AT OLIVE GARDEN.”) I say “presumably” because I have gone — and will continue to go — to great lengths to avoid seeing them. But I am also someone who watches a ton of TV, so I am more than familiar with their commercials, which are also formulaic and ripe for parody.
I say all this because “30 Rock” aired a fake trailer for a film titled Martin Luther King Day last night, and it was spot-on. “Saturday Night Live” did their own spoof of these films a few weeks ago, mainly as an excuse to roll out a bunch of celebrity impressions and rib Seth Meyers about his appearance in New Year’s Eve, but “30 Rock’s” version was much better. They showcased a bunch of stars, mimicked the style perfectly, threw in some absurd gags, and still managed to wrap it all up in under a minute. Take notes, kiddies. This is how you do it.