After hearing in class about how Tina Fey was very much inspired by Mary Tyler Moore as well as there being a similar episode to “Toulouse Lautrec is One of My Favorite Artists”, I figured I would find the episode and see how similar they were to each other. While I wasn’t expecting a direct adaptation, I was expecting it to be a lot more similar than it actually was. I’m guessing that maybe the main reason why I felt like the stories weren’t very similar was because while Mary Tyler Moore seems to really focus on an A story, 30 Rock has at least three stories going on at once, so the Liz Peter Dinklage story was pretty much out-shined by Selma Hyack and Jenna trying to become Janis Joplin (or since they didn’t get the rights, Jackie Jormp-Jomp).
However, it is not to say that there weren’t plenty of similarities between the two episodes. Both Mary and Liz aren’t aware they are about to go on a date with a short person (In Liz’s case since her biological clock is ticking she thinks Peter Dinklage is a small child on the street) and then when faced wit the fact that they aren’t sure how they feel about going out with someone shorter then they are they both immediately go for “You’re not the freak, I am!” to which both short guys agree. Similarly, Liz also goes through the same laundry list of “what if I say the wrong thing that has to do with height” albeit a more modern version: “What if I order a Tall drink, or talk about playing games on my Wii”. Although I have to admit I found the Mary Tyler Moore story funnier. I don’t know if it is because it just held up so well or if it is because I felt like I saw a lot of the jokes in that storyline (in 30 Rock) coming from the beginning. One other interesting thing that I wanted to point out is that Liz and Jenna interact almost the same way as Mary and Rhoda, just a little more playful and less condescending.