SPOILER ALERT! Don’t read any further if you haven’t yet watched tonight’s live 30 Rock fandango. I was lucky enough to be in the audience of the 8:30pm East Coast taping (along with my colleague Michael Ausiello) and it was a lot of fun, kinda like a truncated Saturday Night Live taping. After each skit, the cast would quickly jet off stage to prepare for their next moment. In between commercial breaks, the SNL band played music. My other colleague Archana Ram attended the dress rehearsal earlier in the evening and not much seemed to have been changed.
Executive producer Lorne Michaels walked out before the show and surveyed the sets, particularly Jack’s office. Cheyenne Jackson and Jane Krakowski warmed up the audience with some tunes (and Krakowski did seem to once again have trouble with her dress). The audience applauded the (kinda) surprise guest-stars like Matt Damon, Rachel Dratch, Chris Parnell, Bill Hader, Jon Hamm, and—the biggest actual surprise of the night—Julia Louis-Dreyfus. TV fans may remember that Tina Fey thanked Julia Louis-Dreyfus in her 2008 Emmy speech by saying that whenever she’s at an acting loss on 30 Rock her husband tells her to act like Louis-Dreyfus. Then, Louis-Dreyfus paid Fey back in a comedy skit on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in which she pretended to steal Fey’s Emmy. The pair shared a nice albeit surreal moment after the final sketch, laughing while clad in the same outfit.
Throughout the taping, everyone seemed to be almost giddy with excitement. Lots of smiles from the actors and Fey danced a little jig as the cast was introduced moments before the show. Alec Baldwin even got in the dancing spirit by the end of the night, doin’ a two-step with the robot and bear, a.k.a. Liz Lemon’s birthday guests.
There weren’t a ton of stars in attendance from what I could tell. NBC News Brian Williams was in the audience as well as NBC execs Angela Bromstad and Jeff Gaspin.
Overall, the audience seemed to have a great time and I personally laughed out loud throughout. Hopefully it played as well at home.
What did you think of the live 30 Rock episode, PopWatchers? Did they pull it off?