If You Loved 30 Rock & The Office, You'll Love The New Comedy Nightcap

Photo: Courtesy of POP.
A comedy revolving around an imaginary TV show might sound exactly like 30 Rock. But while there are some similarities that will appeal to fans of the NBC favorite, Nightcap's premiere last night proved it has an identity all its own. The new series draws influences from 30 Rock and The Office, and turns them into an even more dramatized, laugh-out-loud funny look at the world of television — this time, late-night talk shows.

Ali Wentworth returns to acting as Staci Cole, a talent booker trying to get A-list guests on a talk show helmed by a much-hated host, Jimmy, whom we never see (and therefore can envision to be as awful and monstrous as imagination allows). The pilot episode kicks off by setting the tone that this show is lagging far behind competitors like The Tonight Show and The Late Show; when Staci is able to get Kelly Ripa, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Andy Cohen all in one episode, one staffer remarks, "This must be what it's like to work at Seth Meyers!"

But the best part about the premiere is the many ways it pokes fun at the world of late-night TV, no holds barred. Here are our five favorites.

The Way Production Assistants Are Treated
When Jimmy's assistant Todd delivers a bag of TAG Heuer watches to the staff (which a producer makes a point to note were probably discounted, considering that Jimmy is the face of TAG), Todd discovers that he's the only staffer who didn't receive one. Staci hilariously treats poor Todd like a puppy who needs encouragement; he spends most of the episode pouting that he's "no longer in Jimmy's inner circle." But the gag is that after Staci secretly offers up her watch to Todd so he won't feel as bad, Todd eventually gets one from Jimmy, anyway — plus a briefcase full of cash. So much for being the nice guy, Staci.

The Crazy Hoops People In The TV World Have To Jump Through To Make Celebrities Happy
A celebrity publicist named Malik asks Staci for her help finding a surrogate for an anonymous but "very famous" celebrity couple. She makes a deal: If Staci can "help her find a uterus," Malik will help Staci book late-night TV celebrity unicorns George and Amal Clooney for the show (we have a feeling that ain't gonna happen either way). Staci immediately goes after an assistant, Penny, to ask if she's up for, you know, lending her uterus to an unknown couple. When it's time to sit down for a meeting with said duo, we discover that it's — gasp! — Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos.

I'll give it to them both — they hilariously parody themselves, conducting an interview with Penny with questions like, "Why do you think you're fit to carry a celebrity child in your womb?" and openly mentioning their experiments with Molly. They later tell Penny that they've decided to go in "another direction," but they bet that her womb "will make another celebrity couple happy one day," and she runs out sobbing.

The Way Celebrities Shamelessly Pimp Themselves Out On Talk Shows For Publicity
Jimmy is, apparently, a "racist homophobe," so when Andy Cohen shows up for his segment, he openly admits that he's only dealing with Jimmy because he has new Bravo show to promote. And the show Andy's promoting? Broadway Smash Up, "a singing torture show" where contestants have to sing Broadway songs without getting distracted. "It's amazing, you're going to love it," Andy tells Staci with a sly smile, nodding to the fact that anything can end up on TV these days.

The Fact That Late-Night Hosts Have A Bad Reputation For Being...Well, Assholes
At the beginning of the episode, Staci declares that the reason they struggle to get "A-list" stars is because "everybody hates Jimmy." In fact, she screams: "Jimmy's a bad person!" We later learn that in addition to giving his staff discounted gifts and being "a racist homophobe," he's also kicked his handicapped brother out of his house. Said brother is now begging for money in Times Square. Yikes!

The Way Celebrities Forget About "The Little People"
When Sarah Jessica Parker arrives, she swears Staci's face looks familiar. Staci reminds her that they went to theater camp together back in the day, where SJP low-key bullied her by calling her
"Jaws" (braces) and making her play the dog in Peter Pan. But when their reminiscing leads Staci to bring up Spin the Bottle, Parker clearly gets uncomfortable. And then Staci reveals: She and Parker kissed in a firefly-lit meadow on the last night of camp!

Of course, Parker claims she doesn't remember the encounter. But we later realize she clearly does remember what went down when she plants a long kiss smack on Staci's mouth at the end of the episode, thanking Staci for the closure. Sarah Jessica Parker kissing a girl — whaaaat?!
Gif: Courtesy of Giphy.
And that's just the beginning, folks. We can't wait to see what other laughs Nightcap brings us this season. You can watch the series on Pop Wednesdays at 8 p.m.
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