Maybe you’ve heard a thing or two about sexual harassment in the news this week. (I don’t know, just a wild guess.) NBC’s Great News has some great timing, then, because Thursday’s episode tackled the thorny topic head-on… and managed to squeeze a few laughs out of it.
Diana St. Tropez (guest star Tina Fey, still killing it) tells Katie she’s been promoted to COO of MMN’s parent company and gives her loyal mentee a title bump to “senior associate producer.” Katie’s thrilled, and ignores Justin when he claims that Diana cornered him in the edit bay and “tried to French all over me.” No one believes Justin until Greg is summoned to Diana’s office, where she drops a pen and asks him to pick it up… and then drops it again. (“Slower, this time,” she commands.)
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He rushes to tell Katie, but she doesn’t think Diana meant anything sexual by it, and Greg starts to question himself. But then other male staffers start to share their stories about Diana: She made Gene eat a banana in front of her — which he proceeded to eat horizontally, like an ear of corn. Katie waves them all off, implying they were asking for it (“What were you wearing?”) and Portia agrees that this just sounds like another hit job on a powerful female. Chuck volunteers to try to catch her in the act, but Diana doesn’t take the bait — even when Chuck dons an alluring pair of leather short-shorts.
Katie tells Diana the guys are saying she sexually harassed them, but Diana says that’s ridiculous: “They wanted it.” She chalks up her lewd behavior to “locker-room talk”: “So I told a couple guys they have nice bulges. Take the compliment!” She thanks Katie for not letting the guys report her to HR, and Katie’s not sure what she should do — until she learns her mom Carol has been harassed by Diana, too. (She made Carol play Go Fish with a deck of playing cards covered with pictures of nude men: “I won by getting four butts!” Carol cries.)
That’s the last straw for Katie, who arranges a sting with the staff, sending Carol into Diana’s office in a sexy outfit of Portia’s to entrap her. But Diana sees right through it, and gives up in frustration. She admits she was trying to get accused of sexual harassment, to get fired with a big payout like Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly: “I just want what the men get: 40 million dollars to go away.” She decides to suck it up and accept the promotion anyway, and gives Katie one final pep talk on her way out: “Maybe someday, when you get to be in my position, we’ll live in a world where a woman can be a creep… and go home with a huge golden parachute.”
* Katie repeatedly mispronouncing “conglomerate” as “congromulate.”
* Diana, describing her new job: “I’ll be working from Stuttgart, but on weekends, I’ll be able to meet my children halfway on an aircraft carrier in the Bering Sea. Children love the Bering Sea.”
* Katie: “So you won’t be around? But you’re my mentor. Could you appear in the clouds when I have a moral conundrum?” Diana: “I do have Mufasa technology, but it’s very expensive.”
* Chuck’s pitch as the new spokesman for the Tomato Juice Council: “Tomatoes: Take a Sip! Please?!”
* Diana telling Greg that “Jeff Sessions has agreed to be on our panel, but we don’t have enough telephone books for his chair.”
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* Greg on Law & Order: “In England, it’s called Barristers & Decorum, and every role is played by Dame Maggie Smith.”
* Chuck, complaining about today’s entitled youth: “When I was in college, I made my own way, giving tug jobs down at the docks. You know, tugging the boats out of the port with my hands!”
* Katie, looking at a photo of Diana’s new office: “Is that a real Jackson Pollock on the wall?” Diana: “No, the previous COO shot himself because the job was too hard.”
* The “pervert’s high-five” Diana shows Katie: Diana makes an “OK” sign with her hand, and Katie pokes her finger through the hole. (Ew.)
* Portia: “My mentor Roger Ailes had been whipping it out in front of women for decades. By the way: bad penis. It’s actually why they started calling penises ‘junk.'”
Got thoughts on Great News‘ take on sexual harassment? Drop ’em in a comment below.