Lady, just because I’m an ignorant black man and you paid me a nickel to bust up your chiffarobe doesn’t give you the right to call me ridiculous just ’cause I’m proud of my son.”
I’m no linguist, logophile whathaveyou, but many times while watching comedies just a single word in a joke will create a reaction so strong it affects me for long after the moment has ended. Such is the case with “chiffarobe.” Those who watched this week’s Family Guy will remember it as one of many words used in the extended “you know a person is old when they use this to mean this” gag at the end of last night’s episode “Brian’s Got a Brand New Bag.”
While the Family Guy joke was probably the best in that particular episode, hearing “chiffarobe” evoked a memory from when this word was used as an even better comedic device in a scene from the second season episode of 30 Rock “Rosemary’s Baby,” a scene that I believe to be the best in the series’ still-in-process history. Not only is Alec Baldwin’s sizeable talent on full display playing five(!) characters within a character (which was undoubtedly the reason he nabbed a second straight Emmy win for Best Actor in a Comedy that year) but the fact that the 30 Rock writing team crafted both a Good Times and a To Kill a Mockingbird reference all in two and a half minutes is staggeringly amazing.
And for your viewing pleasure…