15 Things You Didn’t Know About ’30 Rock’

Published on July 20, 2015. Updated February 10, 2017

NBC’s 30 Rock starred the hilarious and witty Tina Fey as Liz Lemon, an NBC writer for a network show featuring Tracy Morgan and Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski). Meanwhile, network executive Jack Donaghey (Alec Baldwin) breathes down Liz’s neck and forces her to change the show’s concept and characters on a whim. Lemon’s job is to keep the actors from going off the deep end, the writers happy, and Jack from tearing the whole show apart. 30 Rock enjoyed tremendous success with 16 Emmy wins and 112 nominations. The show aired from 2006 to 2013 and completed seven seasons. Here are 15 things you didn’t know about the series!

15. SAGs

From 2006 to 2013 Alec Baldwin (Jack Donaghey) won a SAG Award for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series. No other actor in a comedy or drama has achieved this accomplishment.  Baldwin has said that 30 Rock was his favourite job.

Dee Cercone/Everett Collection

14. Jon Hamm

Mad Men’s Jon Hamm (Don Draper) tried out for the part of Jack Donaghy, but lost the role to Alec Bladwin. He did make a guest appearance as Dr. Drew Baird and went on to play Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne in Tina Fey’s next show The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Photo by Picture Perfect/REX

13. SNL

Tina Fey based the show 30 Rock on her previous experience as the first ever head female writer for SNL. Fey and her character Liz Lemon were both one time Emmy award winners at the beginning of filming 30 Rock.

Photo by Broadimage/REX Shutterstock

12. Besties

It is widely known that Tina Fey (Liz Lemon) and Amy Poehler are close friends and hosted several award shows together. Poehler can be seen posing as Psycho’s Janet Leigh in a photo hung in Liz Lemon’s office. She also played Young Liz in a 30 Rock episode.

Golden Globe Awards

11. The Husband

The piano player on TGS with Tracy Morgan is actually Tina Fey’s husband Jeff Richmond. He also composes the music for 30 Rock, and was also a producer and even directed a few episodes. He currently does the music for Fey’s new show The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Photo by MediaPunch/REX

10. Kenneth!

Prior to portraying Kenneth Parcell, Jack McBrayer was featured in several sketches on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. He usually played a Southern character and left Conan to play a Southern page on 30 Rock.

Photo by Picture Perfect / Rex Features

9. Studio 60

The same year that 30 Rock premiered, another show called Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip also appeared. The show was created by Aaron Sorkin and starred Nate Corddry and followed a similar premise as 30 Rock, but it was cancelled after one season. Both Sorkin and Corddry made guest appearances on 30 Rock.

Source: NBC

8. Surgery

If anyone was wondering why Tracy Morgan was absent from a string of consecutive episodes in Season five, it’s because he was undergoing a kidney transplant.

s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

7. Xandu

Both Cheyenne Jackson (Danny Baker) and Jane Krakowski (Jenna Maroney) were set to star in Broadway’s Xandu. Krakowski decided she’d rather do 30 Rock and left before the premiere. Jackson followed as he wanted to keep working with Krakowski. He also appeared on 30 Rock.

Photo by MediaPunch/REX

6. Girlie Show

Before it was turned into TGS with Tracy Jordan, Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) starred on The Girlie Show. The skit show was based on The Girlie Show that Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch performed at The Second City in Chicago. Rachel Dratch was supposed to play Jenna in 30 Rock, but she was replaced by Krakowski after the pilot didn’t work out. The pilot was remade with Jane Krakowski.

Photo by Broadimage/REX

5. So Sexy

In 1995, Baldwin was chosen as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in movie history by Empire Magazine. Baldwin was also listed as one of the “Eight Actors Who Turn Television into Art” in a New York Times Magazine article in 2011. His co-stars Katrina Bowden (Cerie) was listed as Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive in 2011, and Tina Fey is one of People’s most beautiful people in the world.

Rob Rich/Everett Collection

4. Writers

Both Tracy Morgan and Tina Fey have written personal memoirs. Morgan wrote I Am the New Black (2009) and Fey penned Bossypants (2011)  Bossypants was on the New York Times Best Seller List for five weeks and sold over a million copies in the United States alone.  The audio book also sold 150,000 copies.

Source: Amazon

3. Troy Barnes

Community’s Donald Glover (Troy Barnes) was a SNL writer when he met Tina Fey. He wrote for Kenneth’s character on 30 Rock and did really well since they were both from Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Photo by Rob Latour/REX Shutterstock

2. Preggers

Jane Krakowski (Jenna Maroney) continued to work on 30 Rock up until she was eight months pregnant with her and then fiancé Robert Godley’s first child. She came back to the show only four months later. Her son’s name is Bennett.

Photo by Stewart Cook / Rex Features

1. Comedy Stars

Several of the show’s characters are also SNL regulars such as Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Alec Baldwin, and Rachel Dratch. Alec Baldwin is tied with Steve Martin for hosting the most SNL shows and has a standing offer to host every season. Martin also made a guest appearance on 30 Rock.

Art Streiber/NBC

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