Alec Baldwin and Jerry Seinfeld Talk ’30 Rock’

Alec Baldwin and Jerry Seinfeld Get Viewers Revved Up For '30 Rock'

30 Rock Photo

Alec Baldwin and Jerry Seinfeld answered a few questions to get everyone revved up for the season premiere of '30 Rock.' The season premiere featuring Jerry airs tonight on NBC at 8:30PM EST.

When you look back over the last few years, did you ever thin you’d be doing a comedy series?
ALEC BALDWIN: You know, when you do these things, very often it's — what's important is who's doing the asking.  So it was Lorne who's an old, old friend of mine.  And I've done SNL many times.  And his company and Marci Klein, his associate there, they asked me to do the show.  And Tina was the writer.  And I knew Tina was funny.  I knew she was very funny.  And so I did the pilot.

And what I didn't count on was how challenging this would be, because I think in the beginning we all wanted it to be funny, and myself included. And we kind of tried to make it pop and tell the jokes and hit the jokes and everything. And then as the season went on, I think the show got better because we tried to make it more real.  And we still make it a little nutty.  Today was pretty nutty, I must say. We had Seinfeld here. But we try — I think everybody really tries to make it funny and yet to make it more honest.

I think that's one of the huge attractions of it.  There's that kind of zaniness.
ALEC BALDWIN: Yeah.  Everybody is a little nuts, but we try to keep them nuts in a certain window.  We try to keep it in a certain range. And sometimes we go beyond that range. Only speaking for myself, sometimes I do go too far.  But we think when it works best, we try to keep it as real as we can. But what's really been great for me is just how great the writers are and how funny the material is. It's almost actor-proof in that way, that if you just get out there and do it, it's very funny.

One of things that struck me about it too is the dynamics of this setup…
ALEC BALDWIN: Speaking for myself and for the show, Yes, we want everybody to have some interaction with everybody else, with me, with Tracy, with Kenneth, with Jack, with Tina, with, you know, Lonny, with Jane and so forth, with Pete.  So I think it's better the more you have — even though it's a half hour, the more you have people coming in and playing their little notes the better, yeah.

I mean, even some of our other stars.  Me and Kim Jung-Il (referring to a photo in Jack Donaghy’s office).  This is one of my favorite things in the show is my artwork and my office pictures of me with other famous people.  But we make a nice couple me and Kim.

You have photos all over the place.  I mean, some of these were obviously dummied.
ALEC BALDWIN: No, they were all dummied.  We have me with Jay (Leno), me with the Saudi sheik.  We have me with some Saudi sheiks there.  It's all me with that whole Carlyle group crowd that I hang out with, my character does.

There is a wonderful kinetic energy. I remember when I first spoke to you and Tina. There's a wonderful energy with you two when you were on the screen.

ALEC BALDWIN: Well, I mean, in TV you don't have many people like her. You know, you have women who have an edge to them and are funny and are smart in the moment and they're clever on screen, and they're not the pretty girl, you know. And Tina is a beautiful woman who's funny and smart and has that edge in the same instant, you know. And that's very rare. There's not a lot of people who have that kind of timing and that kind of — the spin that she puts on the line reading. She's occupying a place right now for herself in television that there just is nobody else doing what she's doing, you know. I mean, I don't think so.

If you could tell us why people should watch '30 Rock.'
ALEC BALDWIN: I think we have the funniest writing on TV. I mean, are there other attractive women who are the leads on shows? Yeah, I can think of one. I can think of a couple.  Are there other good-looking women who are funny and clever and talented?  I'm not going to name their names because I don't want to slight their writing staffs.  But there are a lot of shows that have components of what we have, but they don't have everything we have.

And the most important thing that we have, I think we have the best writers in the business right now.  We have the best writers today. They're funny. They're sick. They're deeply troubled people. But we overlook that and we take from them what we can. And they're good writers. I wouldn't want to hang out with them, but — never, ever.

What brings Mr. Jerry Seinfeld to "30 Rock"?
JERRY SEINFELD:  I'm a big fan of the show.  I'm a big fan of Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey, and I just thought it would be fun, actually.  And they thought it would be fun.  And I like the show and so why not.

Well, Alec had said you knew his father.
JERRY SEINFELD:  Alec and I grew up in the same town. We weren't friends as kids, but I knew his dad.  His dad was a football coach at my high school, and I was always aware of him in my high school.  And I was always aware of him, you know, and all the crazy Baldwin brothers. And so it was just fun.  I've always wanted to work with Alec, and I love Tina's work.  So it seemed like a great opportunity.

Well, it's really high testimony for the show since this is your first appearance.
JERRY SEINFELD: It's my first time guest-starring on a sitcom ever.  Yeah, it's fun.  

Why should people watch this season of "30 Rock"?
JERRY SEINFELD:  I feel like there's something about the tone of this show that feels very fresh and funny. It's just got the right — what I look for, it's just that comedic tone that just hits right, and it's a funny show. That's what everyone is looking for. When you're making a show, you try to just find that feel, that vibe, that universe that's just silly and fun to be in. This show seems to have that.