The Best Cameos by Famous NBC Personalities in ‘30 Rock’
If 30 Rock taught us anything, it’s to trust in the enduring power of synergy, not just because of Jack Donaghy’s admiration for Liz Lemon’s half-assed “Miami = Synergy” presentation —
— but also because the series frequently boasted cameo appearances from famous personalities known for other NBC programs, ultimately benefiting NBC and, by extension, the Sheinhardt Wig Company. But since we’re suckers for corporate self-promotion when it’s in the service of comedy, here are some of our favorites…
Roker popped by 30 Rock as the host of Jack’s TV brainchild: a three-hour Salute to Fireworks. Of course, it soon became apparent that staging massive explosions at a Manhattan skyscraper in the early 2000s “on a day that's not the Fourth of July” would “scare a lot of people,” so Roker casually backed away from the stage like Homer Simpson disappearing into some bushes.
Shortly before leaving NBC for some reason we can’t quite recall, O’Brien cameoed in the 30 Rock episode “Tracy Does Conan,” which memorably featured a flashback to the time when “stabbing robot” Tracy Jordan nearly shivved the talk show host to death. There was also a brief scene that hinted at Conan and Liz’s romantic past, which was later fleshed out in another, unconvincingly green-screened cameo.
Former NBC news anchor Williams appeared in a few episodes of 30 Rock, but perhaps the best and most memorable cameo was when he auditioned for TGS with an awkward routine about refrigerators and his original, potentially offensive New Jerseyan character.
Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford
The hosts of The Today Show were briefly forced to contend with Liz’s ex-boyfriend Floyd (Jason Sudeikis), who drunkenly ruins the show with his fiancée in tow — and ultimately vomits all over the set. Still, he somehow wasn’t the worst dude hanging around The Today Show offices circa 2010.
After two celebrities kick the bucket, Tracy worries that he might be next due to the so-called “Rule of Three.” So in order to make sure that doesn’t happen, he tries to scare Betty White to death over the phone (which is, admittedly, less funny now) and attempts to bludgeon then-Late Night host Fallon to death with a hammer — which, to be fair, is how we all eventually felt during that "Bored Ape" segment with Paris Hilton.
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