NBC and Apple have had their differences in the past; there was a period between the end of 2007 and September 2008 that we only acknowledge in whispering tones as the dark times, when NBC pulled its television programming from the iTunes Store. Things were mostly patched up last September when NBC and Apple resolved their issues, but perhaps an undercurrent of tension still rages. That might explain why last week's NBC line-up saw not one but two parodies of Steve Jobs.
Monday night’s episode of Chuck resurrected the always-delightful Chevy Chase as a charismatic software company CEO. He’s on stage at his company’s “NextExpo” to introduce a new operating system to a crowd of adoring fans. Huh. Not exactly shades of Steve Ballmer, is it? Here’s the relevant portion (sadly, Hulu's content is only available in the U.S.; our apologies to our readers elsewhere):
If the parallels weren’t direct enough for you, how about the
Wednesday Thursday night installment of 30 Rock, which sees Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon attempting to save her show from cutbacks? Black turtleneck? Check. Jeans? Check. Sneakers? Check. iPhone three-in-one reference? Check-a-roni. See for yourself:
Now that, my friends, is how you do a Steve Jobs parody. I guess the only remaining question is where will Steve Jobs's influence next be seen on NBC? Will Sylar disguise himself as the iconic CEO to get access to Apple headquarters so he can steal whatever powers design guru Jonathan Ive clearly has? Will Michael Scott throw a digital camera at one of his staff during a presentation? Maybe ratings-challenged Kings could get a jumpstart by having David Shepherd bring peace to the internal strife of Gilboa by introducing the world’s best new media player.
[Note to NBC executives: I am available for consultation should you at any point decide you want to stop running your network into the ground. I mean that in the nicest way possible.]