The Return of 30 Rock: A Visual Primer


For the past three years 30 Rock has won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series. And yet, the show — which just so happens to be our favorite thing on TV — struggles with mid-level ratings. Oh, the injustice! In an effort to lure in you unconverted types, we’ve put together a handy instructional guide to the show’s cast using classic comedy characters who you already know. See, making new fictional friends doesn’t have to be scary. You can even throw a party ! Current fans, be sure to let us know if you agree with our formulas.

Liz Lemon: Liz — the head writer for a fictional sketch comedy show — is 30 Rock‘s main character. Like Mary Tyler Moore, she has brown hair, an intense bond with her boss, and a name that is alliterative. Like Urkel, she wears glasses and is a total (albeit hot) nerd.

Tracy Jordan: Tracy is the star of TGS with Tracy Jordan. He can be a bit of a diva. Like Karen Walker, Tracy is a rich lush who loves to flash people. Like Baby Sinclair he is erratic, codependent, and he loves getting attention by shouting inappropriate things.

John Francis “Jack” Donaghy: Jack is Liz’s boss and the Vice President of East Coast Television and Microwave Oven Programming for General Electric. Like Alex P. Keaton he’s financially savvy, a staunch Republican, and a snazzy dresser. Like Angela Bower, he’s as boss who doesn’t suck — or treat Liz differently because of her gender.

Side note: We have a theory that like Who’s the Boss? this series ends with Jack and Liz getting together. It doesn’t necessarily make us happy.

Jenna Maroney: Jenna is Tracy’s limelight starved co-star and Liz’s only female friend. Like Blair Warner she’s incredibly vain and self-centered. Like Lucy Ricardo she’s a brilliant physical comedian who can be slightly whiny, and is always coming up with hilarious schemes to get more screen time.

Kenneth Parcell: Kenneth is an NBC page from small town Georgia. Like Rose Nylund, he’s eternally cheerful, a bit dim, and he loves telling a good story about the old country. Like Barney Fife, he’s passionate about his job and is fiercely loyal.