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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fun with words, TV/legal edition

As the Screen Writers’ Guild strike stretches into its second month, one answer for unhappy TV fans is obvious: DVD sets of your top shows. Scanning a few past episodes of two of my favorites, one current and one cancelled, reminded me of a pair of similarly absurd linguistic -- and law-related – recurring jokes from them.

On NBC’s 30 Rock, a dimwitted cast member of the Saturday Night Live-like show depicted in the series (Jane Krakowski) is starring in her first feature film, a legal drama called The Rural Juror. The trouble is, none of her co-workers has read the movie’s title; they’ve only heard her say it out loud with less than perfect enunciation, so as far as they can tell, she’s starring in a movie called The Ruhr Jurr. Or The Rear Jeerer. Or something.

Meanwhile, Fox’s late and lamented Arrested Development is about a wealthy family, the Bluths, that tries to maintain its lavish lifestyle while their crooked patriarch (Jeffrey Tambor) is in prison. In the third season of the show, we meet the Bluths’ lawyer, Bob Loblaw (say it out loud). The show gets plenty of mileage out of his name; in fact, eventually we learn that Bob has started his own online diary. Its title? The Bob Loblaw Law Blog.

(Another prominent running gag on Arrested Development is that none of the Bluths knows how to imitate a chicken. Don’t ask; it’s just that kind of show.)

By the way, Bob Loblaw is played by Scott Baio. In a previous season, another Bluth attorney was played by Henry Winkler. Arrested Development’s producer and narrator was Ron Howard. If you find that not-quite-a-coincidence amusing, the show’s particular brand of off-kilter meta-humor might be just right for you.

1 comment:

Hap K said...

I still laugh out loud every time I think about Bob Loblaw. Glad you guys remember him and the Bluths. Bob Loblaw is my second-favorite AD gag. Best ever: Charlize Theron’s before picture.