30 Rock: East versus West Live Shows

I suppose I’m one of the few people who know there are many differences between the audiobook version of On Beauty and the printed version. Maybe two per page. The audiobook version was prepared before the printed version was finalized. The printed version is better, of course. Long before that comparison, I was fond of comparing books drawn from New Yorker articles with the articles themselves. The New Yorker versions were better-written (= better-edited). It was a painless way to learn how to write.

Last week the TV show 30 Rock did two live shows: one for the East Coast, one for the West. I noticed many differences. The writing was better in the West version (jokes were improved) but the acting was better in the East version (the comic timing was better, for example). New York magazine has listed the biggest differences. For example:

East Coast: In a flashback, Julia Louis-Dreyfus calls to Jonathan, “Yeah, Chai Boy, get in here. You’ll never be a millionaire … Slumdog Millionaire ref. Blammo!”
West Coast: Instead, Louis-Dreyfus says, “Hurry up, Aladdin, before Jasmine is forced to marry Jafar! Similarities … Lemon out.” It gets way more applause.

East Coast: In the final scene, Liz is happy with how her birthday went. After all, she even “got to eat the cake off the floor.”
West Coast: This time, she “ate the Fonz’s face.”

I wish there was a whole website about this: Differences between Things that are Supposed to Be The Same. I wrote a Spy article about Similarities Between Things that are Supposed to Be Different. I noticed similar jokes in Jay Leno’s and David Letterman’s monologues.

3 Responses to “30 Rock: East versus West Live Shows”

  1. Alex Chernavsky Says:

    I speak Russian. In certain movies (example: White Nights), English subtitles appear on the screen when some of the characters are speaking Russian. I’ve noticed an odd tendency for the subtitles to be different from what’s actually being said. The differences are not critical to the plot, but still… I wonder why that happens?

    It’s been a while since I saw White Nights, but as I recall, there is one scene where a Soviet KGB agent — speaking Russian — says something like, “I’ve seen enough. Let’s go back to headquarters”. The subtitles said something like, “Turn the car around. We’re not needed here.”

  2. Allen K. Says:

    The book, record, radio show, TV show, computer game, and presumably the play, of the HItchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy are all substantially different. (The play exists; I haven’t seen it. Time was I could have expounded on the deep dissimilarities of the others.)

  3. Errata-sleuthing for fun and knowledge Says:

    [...] By studying these diffs, you can learn something about the way their creators think. Similarly, Seth Roberts wrote on his blog that he learned something about writing and editing by comparing New Yorker articles to the slightly different versions published elsewhere; the New Yorker versions were better, and the differences between the versions explained why they were better: free writing lessons. [...]