Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin on '30 Rock' series finale

Alec Baldwin portrays Jack Donaghy and Tina Fey

Alec Baldwin portrays Jack Donaghy and Tina Fey portrays Liz Lemon in the NBC comedy series, "30 Rock." (Credit: NBC)

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Next Thursday, one of TV's all-time best comedies signs off when "30 Rock" (8 p.m., NBC/4) 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 about their on-screen characters: Fey reflected on Liz Lemon, the smart, strident head writer on a network show; Baldwin spoke about Jack Donaghy, the excessively confident network executive.


What cracked you up on set?

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 , 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.

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'.


What did you want to happen to Jack that didn't?

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 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 .


What were some of your favorite Liz Lemon moments?

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.

Where do you see Liz in five years?

Fey: I know some things that happen to Liz; I think she will be working in New York and [be] happy in her life.


Would you do a reunion?

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.

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.

 

'30 Rock's' guest list: Top 20

One of the charms of "30 Rock" over its seven seasons was the show's ability to attract big names in guest (or recurring) roles. Here are 20 of the most memorable (and you may even see some of them again in Thursday's finale):

Jennifer Aniston (2008) -- Claire Harper, Liz's crazy former Chicago roommate

Will Arnett (2009-13) -- Devon Banks, Jack's devious corporate rival.

Elizabeth Banks (2010-12) -- Avery Jessup, an ambitious financial news anchor who was briefly married to Jack and was the mother of his child.

Matthew Broderick (2008, 2012) -- Cooter Burger, a government employee and lobbyist whom Jack enlists to help him get fired from his temporary job as Homeland Security director for crisis and weather management.

Bryan Cranston (2012) -- Ron, the new husband of Kenneth's mother (Catherine O'Hara). Kenneth never knew they had been married -- for seven years, as it turned out.

Matt Damon (2010) -- Carol Burnett, an airline pilot and one of Liz's many short-lived boyfriends.

Edie Falco (2007-08) -- Celeste "C.C." Cunningham, a Democratic congresswoman who inexplicably becomes romantically involved with Jack.

Carrie Fisher (2007) -- Rosemary Howard, a TV writer from the 1970s, who was Liz's childhood idol.

Al Gore (2007, 2009) -- The former vice president made two cameo appearances as himself.

Jon Hamm (2009-10) -- Dr. Drew Baird, Liz's neighbor and (brief) love interest.

Salma Hayek (2009) -- Elisa Padrera, a Latina nurse caring for Jack's mother, with whom he gets romantically involved.

Patti LuPone (2009, 2010, 2012) -- Sylvia Rossitano, mother of "TGS" writer Frank Rossitano (Judah Friedlander).

Megan Mullally (2008, 2013) -- Bev, Liz's adoption-agency caseworker.

Julianne Moore (2009-10) -- Nancy Donovan, Jack's (heavily Boston-accented) boyhood crush.

Andy Richter (2007) -- Mitch Lemon, Liz's brother, whose mind was permanently stuck in 1985 as a result of a traumatic skiing accident.

Condoleezza Rice (2011) -- The former secretary of state made a cameo appearance as herself -- playing Jack Donaghy's ex-girlfriend.

David Schwimmer (2007) -- Greenzo, NBC's environmental mascot.

Jerry Seinfeld (2007) -- Playing himself, he confronts Jack over his plan to create "SeinfeldVision," a month of NBC programming in which footage from "Seinfeld" would be edited into other network programs.

Elaine Stritch (2007-12) -- Colleen Donaghy, Jack's brash, impossible-to-please mother.

Oprah Winfrey (2008) -- Playing herself, she sat next to Liz on an airplane. Liz later realizes that it wasn't the talk-show host at all, but merely a hallucination caused by medication she had taken.

-- ANDY EDELSTEIN

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