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The 30 Rock Book: Inside the Iconic Show, from Blerg to EGOT

The 30 Rock Book: Inside the Iconic Show, from Blerg to EGOT

by Mike Roe


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The hilarious true story of the making of the cult classic hit show 30 Rock

It’s hard to remember a time when Tina Fey wasn’t a star, but back in the early 2000s, she was an SNL writer who was far from a household name. It’s even harder to remember when Fey’s sitcom 30 Rock was tanking, but it was—it premiered in the fall of 2006, and by November, the New York Times wrote that 30 Rock was “perilously close to a flop.”

But despite all expectations (including those of some of the cast and crew), Tina Fey’s eccentric buddy comedy lasted 138 episodes, spanning seven seasons. It resurrected the career of Alec Baldwin, survived an extended absence by Tracy Morgan, and permeated the culture— its breakneck pacing, oddball characters, and extremely rich joke writing are deeply beloved by millions of fans.

Through more than fifty original interviews with cast, crew, critics, and more, culture writer Mike Roe brings to life the history of the gloriously goofy show that became an all-time classic. The 30 Rock Book has everything in it, from tales of the amazing music still stuck in our heads, to the iconic bit characters that make the show, to all the love and drama of the backstage crew . . . and the creative failures and successes along the way. So grab your night cheese and muffin tops, cuddle up with your slanket against your Japanese body pillow, and settle in for the story of one of the funniest shows in television history.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781419750441
Publisher: ABRAMS
Publication date: 11/30/2021
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 106,741
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 6.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Mike Roe has been a journalist for the past 12 years, working in both digital and radio for NPR station KPCC. He’s currently the arts & entertainment editor for KPCC’s digital site LAist, and recently won an L.A. Press Club award for a popular oral history of 30 Rock’s “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah” song. His other oral histories include a look at Parks and Recreation’s “Galentine’s Day,” as well as a more dramatic piece on Blade Runner and its connections to Los Angeles. He has written and performed comedy around Los Angeles as part of several theater sketch comedy teams, including house teams at iO West and the Pack Theater, and has written and produced comedy videos featured on Funny or Die.

Table of Contents

Introduction Seven Seasons of Super-Specific Weirdness 1

Creating the 30 Rock Pilot 3

Season 1 (2006-07) 30 Rock vs. Studio GO 26

Season 2 (2007-08) The Strike 90

Season 3 (2008-09) Tina's Doppelganger Celebrity 127

Season 4 (2009-10) Selling NBC, a New Cast Member, and the Quest for the EGOT 158

Season 5 (2010-11) Breaking the Format 191

Season 6 (2012) Jack vs. North Korea 224

Season 7 (2012-13) Happy-ish Endings 245

3D Rock's Legacy From Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt to Mr. Mayor 267

Acknowledgments 278

Sources 281

Selected Bibliography 295

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