On Thursday, Jan. 31, one of TV’s all-time best comedies signs off when NBC’s “30 Rock” ends after seven seasons, 14 Emmys and countless laughs.
The day after finishing their last scenes, the show’s stars, Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin, spoke separately with Zap2it. Fey reflected on her character, Liz Lemon, the smart, strident head writer on a network show. Baldwin spoke about his character, Jack Donaghy, the excessively confident network executive.
What follows is a condensed version of the interviews.
Zap2it: What cracked you up on set?
Alec Baldwin: When we would do the read-through — I guess what you think is funny is probably very personal — Jane [Krakowski] would sit to my left and Tina to my right at the table reads. We would read scripts [out loud to listen to the rhythm of them], and Jane’s take on that vain, horny actress like Ginger from “Gilligan’s Island” meets someone from “Mean Girls,” someone really scheming and out for themselves and ditsy — you just don’t think people can make that fresh again, and Jane did. Very few people crack me up as much as Jane did.
Tina Fey: I always had a lot of fun shooting with Tracy Morgan and Jack McBrayer together. We just wrapped for the series last night. There was a delay, and as happens every time in seven years, it ended up with Tracy singing songs from “Thriller” — the same three Michael Jackson songs so many times. Last night it turned into an impromptu break dance party. I didn’t hit the floor, but I did take my turn. I was more poppin’ and lockin’.
Zap2it: What did you want to happen to Jack that didn’t?
Alec Baldwin: I can’t say there is one thing. I pitched ideas to them of how I wanted it to end. One idea was that I died — finally had this gigantic heart attack from all my failed ambitions, and my ghost talks to Lemon at the end. The funniest idea was to ask my own ex-wife (actress Kim Basinger) to come on the show. They wanted her to come on to play Kenneth’s stepmother, and I marry Kim on the show, and Kenneth becomes my stepson. You realize the level of crazy (in the writers room).
Zap2it: What were some of your favorite Liz Lemon moments?
Tina Fey: She got married a few weeks ago, and she wore a Princess Leia outfit. That was one. And there was, in Season 4, a flashback to a phone sex ad commercial Liz had done in the ’90s, and a really bad haircut, before Invisaligns.
Zap2it: Where do you see Liz in five years?
Tina Fey: I know some things that happen to Liz; I think she will be working in New York and happy in her life.
Zap2it: Would you do a reunion?
Alec Baldwin: I don’t think anybody wants that, actually, because I don’t know what that could be. They are going to end this in a really great way. I don’t think anybody would conceive of that. The way they end this, and literally the final frames are very perfect, I wouldn’t say I felt really good. I felt that we did the best we could in terms of wrapping it up. I certainly could have gone a little longer. No sooner did I sign a deal with them to do a seventh and eighth season, and they canceled the show.
Tina Fey: At this point, I have no idea. I know I certainly care about those characters a lot. If you could do it in a way that it was one one-hour special. I think it would be a series of erotic novels.