Governor Dunston was the second episode of the seventh and final season of 30 Rock, airing on October 11, 2012 to 3.40 million viewers. With the election approaching, Jack orders Liz not to do any political satire on TGS, given that it will likely boost ratings and set back his plan to "tank" the network. Liz agrees, but when a new Republican politician surfaces who looks exactly like Tracy, she changes her mind. Meanwhile, she attempts to spice up her love life with Criss (James Marsden), if the pair are to increase their chances of having a baby. Kenneth's mother (Catherine O'Hara) and stepfather (Bryan Cranston) visit, piquing the interest of Jenna, who is demoralized by the lack of profits from her summer dance hit and sees them as an opportunity to get in with a more traditional, CD-buying audience.
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
Liz Lemon continues with her plan of getting pregnant, while helping Jack (Alec Baldwin) with his plot to tank NBC by letting her writers write whatever they want for TGS, with the results being terrible sketches and low ratings. At Jack's request, she agrees not to write anything political, as that has raised their ratings in the past. Things are hindered when Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan drops out of the Presidential race (after being discovered to have been born in Kenya), and Mitt Romney replaces him with Governor Dunston (Tracy Morgan), a bumbling southern Republican with a striking resemblance to Tracy (Tracy Morgan). Liz comes under pressure from Pete and her writing staff to write sketches making fun of Dunston. At Jack's request, Liz promises not to write any political sketches making fun of Governor Dunston, but she eventually caves in to Pete and the writers' demands yet manages to keep her promise by only quoting Dunston verbatim.
When TGS's sketches begin to receive tremendously high ratings, Kabletown CEO Hank Hooper orders the show to be broadcast five nights a week, thus requiring Liz to organize her life. Liz then realizes that organization is what was missing from her sex life and for the first time is eager to make love with her boyfriend Criss (James Marsden).
Meanwhile, Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) is visited by his mother Pearline (Catherine O'Hara) and her "friend" Ron (Bryan Cranston), a kind, but somewhat dimwitted, man. Kenneth's disdain for Ron is obvious, but it is accentuated when Ron accidentally reveals that he and Pearline have actually been married for seven years. However, when Kenneth overhears Jenna (Jane Krakowski) harshly insulting Ron, he becomes surprisingly defensive of him, stating that only family members can talk about one another in such a negative way. With this point, Kenneth realizes that he and Ron have truly been family for years and reluctantly shares an embrace with him.
Jack's plans for tanking the network are further complicated when his former Bush administration coworker and Republican lobbyist Cooter Burger (Matthew Broderick) encourages Jack to make more sketches about Dunston, as they portray Dunston as lovable buffoon rather than the ultra-conservative that he actually is. In the end, Liz and Jack are faced with the choice of tanking TGS and thus securing Jack's future at the expense of Liz's sex life, or continuing the sketches and thus preserving Liz's chances to have a baby and aiding Romney's chances at the Presidency. Liz ultimately decides to continue the sketches.