Exclusive: On the Scene at 30 Rock's Live Episode
TGS invaded Saturday Night Live's Studio 8H for 30 Rock's second cameo-filled live show on April 26, which found the cast reminiscing about some of the strangest (and thankfully fictitious) live TV to ever come out of NBC. "I think it went well," says creator and star Tina Fey of the uproarious episode. Fey says the biggest hurdle was "mostly a costumes and hair challenge... so I pulled some of my friends from SNL to work with our team." TV Guide Magazine was on set for the east coast show (a second version was performed three hours later for the West Coast). Here's how the night played out.
7:30 — Final dress rehearsal wraps and the audience begins to file in to Studio 8H
8:00 — Lenny Pickett and the SNL band begin playing as executive producer Jeff Richmond (and Fey's husband) surveys the now-packed studio.
8:15 — Fred Armisen greets the crowd. "We asked Fred to do the warm-up and then decided to Where's Waldo him throughout the show," Fey says of the SNL-er, who stepped in as Frank (while Judah Friedlander did a streaking gag), and a flirty female in a telethon skit opposite Jimmy Fallon's younger Jack Donaghy.
8:17 — Cheyenne Jackson takes the stage to perform "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours."
8:19 — Armisen intros the cast.
8:20 — Jane Krakowski gives a shout-out to Season 3's Janis Joplin storyline before belting out "Piece of My Heart." Executive producer Lorne Michaels comes out to watch.
8:30 — The show opens with back-to-back guests! First, Fey's longtime pal Amy Poehler plays a younger Liz Lemon, followed by Sir Paul McCartney. "I called Lorne and said 'Who can you get?' And he somehow got him," Fey marvels of landing the former Beatle.
8:34 — Fey gets the first flub out of the way when she mixes up the names of characters Jenna and Hazel by calling them "Henna." "I felt, in a way, proud that no one else has to carry that burden!" she says after the show.
8:35 — Fey and Alec Baldwin pull an impressive quick-change for The Lovebirds, a Honeymooners spoof that ended tragically for its stars. Many of the costumes were one-piece outfits that zipped up the back. Wigs were attached to headbands.
8:37 — The cast grooves to the band and jokes around during the first commercial break.
8:45 — Jon Hamm pops up as the black-faced actor opposite Tracy Morgan in a scathing bit that mocked the racism of Amos 'N Andy type shows.
8:50 — Hamm returns for the sexist '70s-era NBC News break with Baldwin. "[That] was supposed to be with Brian Williams, but he couldn't get here on time," reveals Fey. "He was interviewing the President, so Hamm just stepped in for him." Williams did make it for the West Coast version.
8:51 — Community's Donald Glover, who wrote for 30 Rock right out of college, plays a pre-crazy, break-dancing Tracy Jordan for the '80s telethon scene that reunites SNL's Weekend Updaters Poehler (back as teen Liz) and Fallon, who as young Jack Donaghy almost breaks into laughter after being distracted by Armisen in drag.
8:57 — McCartney returns for his final joke. Unfortunately, Macca had to fly back to England right after the show, so the West Coast version got a Kim Kardashian cameo instead. "She's a very West Coast kind of guest," jokes Fey, who praised the celebutante as "really funny and so sweet."
8:59 — The cast gathers on stage for a goodbye-and-goodnight, during which Fey thanks her guests and encourages folks to watch Poehler's Parks and Recreation.
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