The real "Saturday Night Live" has had its share of musical spin-offs, from the unfortunate but blessedly brief recording career of Eddie Murphy ("Party All the Time") to more recent smart comedy songs like "Dick in a Box" and other Lonely Island fare.
As we say goodbye tonight to TV's "30 Rock," a sentence it pains me to write, I can't help but look back on a few moments from that fictional late-night comedy show that I wish had been real spin-offs.
Stuffed as the sitcom has been with pop cultural references, there have been so many great pop punchlines. Jenna Maroney singing "New York State of Mind" (a first and, in retrospect, hilarious opening provided by Tracy Jordan: "I hear you sing, I didn't know that..."). Jenna's "Don't Cry Out Loud". Liz Lemon's drunken "You Oughta Know" and bitter "At Seventeen" ("You're bummin' us out!"). The smarts she showed in using the German version of "99 Luftballoons" for nefarious purposes. Best and briefest of all: Kenneth. Rapping. "Top That."
But here are the top seven original songs from the "TGS" crew, from seven years of tuneful insanity:
Whole grain, baby. Jenna wanted to sing this song on "TGS" -- a sultry lyric sensualizing baking and chubby waists -- claiming it was a big hit overseas. The fictional world never got to hear it, and the first-season "Jack-Tor" episode gave us snippets. Here is the entire recording in all its glory ...
Jenn's summer dance jam. Again, the episode only teased a few second of this sure-fire hit with its easy-to-remember lyrics, but some nice YouTuber has provided this 10-minute extended play. See how long you can last. (Feeling lucky? Go for 30. Musicians, here's the guitar tab for it.)
"Werewolf Bar Mitzvah"
Tracy's monstrous mash won't be giving "Thriller" any night sweats. Still, pretty scary. Here's the full version ...
"Midnight Train to Georgia"
Aside from the fact that Gladys Knight can do no wrong, the cast's spontaneous run through Knight's biggest hit was the perfect send-off when Kenneth decided to go back to Georgia. Wait for Alec Baldwin's "all aboard."
Of course, "Weird Al" Yankovic got in on the action, offering a Jenna Maroney parody.
"Fart So Loud"
As a guest on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," Jenna performs her latest, er, booty-shaking hit.
"Tennis Night in America"
Are you ready for some ... forehand?!?!?!
Here's hoping in the future, though, that every year on that special day someone sings me Jenna's other long-lost hit: "It's Your Birthday, Slut!" ("Choke a cop / with your panties ...")