Script Notes

Script Notes

Lately, whenever I’m watching a movie or show that references New Haven, I jot the moment down, waiting for the day when I’ll have enough moments to share.

Here’s what I’ve got so far. And please don’t judge my viewing habits.

The Office (2010), S7E1, 5:26: The gang is bringing the mockumentary crew up to speed at summer’s end. Customer service rep Kelly Kapoor (Mindy Kaling) spent the season in New Haven, where she learned… nothing. “This summer, I did the Minority Executive Training Program at Yale. You guys, I’m like really smart now. You don’t even know. You could ask me, ‘Kelly, what’s the biggest company in the world?’—and I’d be like, ‘Blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah blah,’ giving you the exact right answer.”

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The Secret of My Success (1987): After a kafkaesque big-city job search, ambitious Kansas farm kid Brantley Foster (Michael J. Fox) has landed at the very bottom of a huge conglomerate, and Fred Melrose (John Pankow) is showing him the ropes. First stop? A hallway lined with works by longtime Yale art professor and department chair Josef Albers.

30 Rock (2010), S4E13, 5:21: Economically conservative Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) ridicules his liberal counterpart on the mock CNBC panel show The Hot Box with Avery Jessup, quipping that “the food in his beard tells us that he purchased a snack pack on the train from New Haven.” Jessup (Elizabeth Banks) is all aboard with the joke, even though, later, she mentions she went to Yale.

30 Rock (2011), S5E19, 13:32: Bound and whimpering, Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski, pictured above) is playing the next victim in a Saw ripoff being filmed in Connecticut. But to take advantage of the state tax incentives, the film needs to advance the Nutmeg State’s tourism goals. The camera shifts around the murderer’s torture dungeon, finding a “Visit Connecticut” poster, a UConn Huskies T-shirt (worn by a previous victim) and a bloody scrawl of what was then the state’s tourism website. A door swings open to reveal a Yale banner as the murderer enters. “Oh please, don’t kill me,” Jenna pleads. “I still haven’t tried the famous seafood pizza at Sally’s in New Haven!”

Free Guy (2021), 36:00/1:00:56: The walls of a virtual “stash house” are made of glowing, octagonal marble slabs that should seem familiar if you’ve been inside Yale’s Beinecke Library—and it turns out they really shine when Channing Tatum is doing the “snakey man.” Guess where the film’s director/producer Shawn Levy went to school?

Community (2010), S1E22, 19:44: Topping off Troy (Donald Glover) and Abed’s (Danny Pudi’s) episode-long effort to live out the tropes of Animal House-style college comedies, a trio of particularly detestable teenage bullies instigate a food fight in Greendale Community College’s cafeteria. Soon, a series of freeze-frame text overlays finishes the homage, telling us, among other things, that one of the odious teens will be a professor of sociology at Yale come 2021.

Gone Girl (2014), 11:57: “Wow. Impressive gal,” detective Rhonda Boney says as the camera tilts to the Yale diploma of master manipulator and psychopath Amy Dunne. The degree? A master’s in psychology, naturally.

Written by Dan Mims. Image features a still from S5E19 of 30 Rock.

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