Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin has never been tight-lipped about his plans to leave 30 Rock, or even the show's possible demise, after his contract expires in 2012. But now the Emmy-winning actor is finally opening up about what exactly he plans to do after he leaves the NBC comedy: run for mayor!

Baldwin, 53, tells The New York Times he wants to eventually run for mayor of New York City, although he most likely will not enter the upcoming 2013 race because of his previous commitment to 30 Rock.

Will 30 Rock end next year? Alec Baldwin says yes

Instead, he says he plans to make occasional appearances on 30 Rock after the series' upcoming sixth season so that he can begin a graduate program in the fall of 2012 "to help me better understand what the fiscal imperatives of that job are," he told the newspaper. "What's the reality of the city unions, of contracts, agreements, teachers, infrastructure, decentralizing, everything? And utilities, Con Ed, the M.T.A. — how does it all work?" Baldwin is currently in discussions with two top universities about enrolling in a politics and government program.

Baldwin has expressed interest in entering politics in the past, but says he's ready to take the risk — whether it pays off or not. "I am someone who is fully prepared for the fact that I could go into this and do it and completely have my a-- kicked," he said. "I could throw a party and no one could come. And it would be this staggering lesson for me."

Alec Baldwin "very, very interested" in running for office

Although Baldwin is one of the lead actors on 30 Rock — only second to Tina Fey — series executive producer Lorne Michaels is confident the show can and will go on with or without Baldwin. "I can't imagine doing the show without Alec, but I couldn't imagine doing [Saturday Night Live] without Chevy [Chase]," Michaels told Vulture. "And we're still on the air. ... It's got a lot of life and vitality and we all want to keep it going."

30 Rock returns to NBC midseason. Baldwin will host the season premiere of Saturday Night Live when it returns on Sept. 24 on NBC.