30 Rock

Nobody is getting what they want from Santa on 30 Rock's very special Christmas episode (Thursday, 9:30 pm/ET, NBC), creatively titled "Christmas Special." We caught up with returning guest star Elaine Stritch and cast member Jane Krakowski — who's also hard at work promoting the Xbox 360 game "You're in the Movies" this season — to ask about their musical contributions to the special.

Liz (Tina Fey) makes the staff participate in a "Letters to Santa" charity program after her parents ditch her to go to a couples-only retreat in Arizona (its theme: sexy at 70!). Jack (Alec Baldwin), on the other hand, sees his dream Christmas — "flying to Rio, tanning in the nude, betting on some monkey wrestling" — evaporate when a freak accident forces him to spend the holiday with his controlling mother, Colleen (Stritch). "The sharper the thorn, the deeper it goes, the more I like it," she says of her adversarial scenes with Baldwin.

Jack decides to spread his holiday misery by forcing the TGS staff to produce a last-minute Christmas special, during which camera hog Jenna (Krakowski) develops a taste for cheap, high-proof brandy. "I hope it's not seasonal," she says. But will Jenna have a Christmas love connection? "She's been engaged to David Blaine, she's [dated] O.J. Simpson and she had a threeway with Roseanne and Tom Arnold. I don't know who could possibly show up to top that," says Krakowski.

A recurring theme of the episode is the holiday favorite "The Christmas Song," that little ditty about roasting chestnuts on an open fire made famous by Nat King Cole. Both Stritch and Krakowski perform versions of the song, under very different circumstances. While Jenna belts it out for the TV special, Stritch's rendition is more ethereal. "It's [Jack's] fantasy," she reveals. "It was an interesting acting challenge. I didn't sing it like I sing it; I sang it like I imagined Colleen Donaghy would try to sing it."

Although it's been said many times, many ways, 30 Rock's "Merry Christmas" is sure to be a unique one!

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