The Untold Truth Of 30 Rock

Tina Fey's 30 Rock played on NBC, and with an impressive cast like Alec Baldwin and Tracy Morgan, it quickly earned a spot in pop culture. No matter how big of a fan you are, we're betting there's still something about the show you don't know. If you're wondering what cast member had to get an organ transplant during the show, or who was originally supposed to play Alec Baldwin and Jane Krakowski's characters, keep reading for the untold truth of 30 Rock.

Alec Baldwin based Jack Donaghy on Lorne Michaels

Seeing Alec Baldwin act in 30 Rock as ridiculous bigwig executive Jack Donaghy sealed him into comedy history. NPR reported that Baldwin based his character not only on GE and NBC execs, but it was partly based on Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels himself.

Baldwin told NPR, "Professionally, he's a prototype of several GE executives, but in his personal life, he's [SNL creator] Lorne Michaels. As I always say, 'Lorne is someone who has a tuxedo in the glove compartment of his car.' And Lorne is a friend, and I adore Lorne. But we do stick it to Lorne a lot."

At an event where he was honored by the Museum of the Moving Image, Baldwin made a speech noting 30 Rock as the most fun he's ever had, "Who knew that playing a self-seeking, Machiavellian, Republican corporate f**k would turn out to be the highlight of my life."

Tina Fey's husband composed the music for the show

Tina Fey has worked with her husband Jeff Richmond on many projects, 30 Rock being one of the most well-known. Richmond is a composer and arranger, having worked on the show's unique score and composed the show's theme song.

Richmond won three Emmys for scoring the show. He's also worked with Fey on her movie with Amy Poehler, Baby Mama, as well as SNL and Fey's show The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

The husband wife duo's latest collaboration as of March 2017 was Fey's musical adaptation of Mean Girls, her 2004 hit movie.

Easter eggs were placed all around Liz Lemon's office

There were multiple hidden fun items in Liz Lemon's office on the show. In a 30 Rock Special Features: Tour of the 30 Rock Set With Tina Fey behind the scenes look, Fey takes viewers on an inside look through her character Liz Lemon's office.

After admitting she preferred to spend more time in the fake office than her real one upstairs at SNL, Fey showed off her bulletin board. The board was complete with photos not related to Liz Lemon at all, like photos of former SNL announcer Don Pardo and Fey, and snapshots of her oldest daughter Alice. There's also a framed cover of Bust magazine with Fey's BFF Amy Poehler (done up to look like Psycho's Janet Leigh) on the cover, the video goes on to share.

Fey also shared a sweet fun fact: she used to have a photo of Lemon and Floyd, Liz's ex-boyfriend, in a drawer of her desk. She admitted she packed up the photo and sent it to Mindy Kaling as a gesture of good luck for her show The Mindy Project.

Jon Hamm was almost Jack Donaghy

Believe it or not, the man who made Don Draper a household name was almost Jack Donaghy instead. Jon Hamm, who is known for his iconic Mad Men character, almost had the role that Alec Baldwin made famous.

Hamm did end up having a small part on 30 Rock as Dr. Drew Baird, a pediatrician and Liz Lemon's neighbor turned love interest.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Hamm admitted to Fey that he had originally auditioned for the Donaghy role. It turns out, Fey was completely unaware! Hamm said, "It was way early in the process. So somewhere on tape, there exists me talking about three kinds of heat. The corollary is that Tina auditioned for Don Draper."

Fey joked she would be the wife of the man still in the closet on Mad Men.

Kenneth the Page was based on the actor who played him

Jack McBrayer, who played Kenneth the Page on the show, really is not that much different from his character. He admitted to the New York Times that a heightened version of himself is "pretty much Kenneth the Page."

In an appearance on Conan, McBrayer said that Tina Fey took quirks from his real life and used them on the show. "I eat chickpeas out of a can," McBrayer admitted to Conan O'Brien.

So, Kenneth the Page ate garbanzo beans out of a can on the show.

Fey also used McBrayer's odd things he did with other characters too. Julianne Moore, who appeared on the show as Nancy Donovan, Jack Donaghy's high school crush, showed up at Donaghy's hotel room in an episode. When he offers her a drink she turns him down, explaining she has a warm Sprite wrapped in tinfoil — something McBrayer himself does. When questioned by O'Brien why he actually did that, McBrayer said "so you didn't have to pack a cooler."

There was a secret 30 Rock reference on Mad Men

Only super fans of 30 Rock would have caught a sly reference to the show on Mad Men in 2013. On an episode of Mad Men in April of that year, Ted Chaough placed an order for a drink called an "Old Spanish." Funny enough, there is no such drink, unless you're a character in the fictitious world of 30 Rock—Cooter Burger, played by Matthew Broderick, ordered the crazy concoction which consists of red wine with tonic water and olives.

30 Rock writer Tracey Wigfield, who also wrote for The Mindy Project until 2016, caught the reference and tweeted about it saying, "Best thing ever: on MadMen last night Ted ordered an Old Spanish, a made-up drink from 30 Rock. Red wine, tonic water & olives for everyone!"

Donald Glover wrote for 30 Rock

That's right, Community's Troy Barnes was a writer for 30 Rock. Glover was only 23 when he was picked out of the Derrick Comedy Troupe at UCB by Tina Fey. The Ringer reported that Glover went on to write some of Tracy Morgan's best lines.

The triple threat recalled his early days at 30 Rock fondly. "It was the only thing I had ever really, really wanted. Tina Fey was such a special person. She had her own era at Saturday Night Live and that's so hard to do, especially as a woman. I wanted to be her shadow. I wanted to be her protege," Glover told The Guardian. "I've never had to think as hard as I did on that show. Late at night, I'd be sitting at my computer thinking, 'What's the funniest way to say this?' She'd be shooting all day while we were writing and then we'd meet back at her house and write late into the night. One time, I almost passed out because I was so tired."

30 Rock was Tina Fey's first sitcom pilot

Tina Fey had never written a sitcom pilot before she sat down to write 30 Rock's, Rolling Stone reported. Fey hadn't written a movie script before she wrote Mean Girls either. Fey's first idea wasn't like 30 Rock at all. Rolling Stone said the original pitch was that Fey would be a producer of a cable show like Bill O'Reilly's and Alec Baldwin would play the O'Reilly type.

"The first pitch was not unlike The Newsroom on HBO," Fey told Rolling Stone. "It was good we didn't try to do that, because I would have drowned trying to keep up with the subject matter."

NBC vice president Kevin Reilly ended up giving Fey the idea to write about life backstage at SNL.

Rachel Dratch almost played Jenna

Rachel Dratch was ready to play Jane Krakowski's character Jenna Maroney on the show, but ended up being told that there was more of a demand for her to play multiple characters.

The New York Post reported Krakowski was allegedly placed in the role instead because she was "prettier."

"When I was let go, I didn't think it was a big deal," Dratch told The New York Post. "The direction of the character had changed and pilots are recast all the time. I thought it would be a nonstory, but suddenly it blew up." Dratch and Fey are reportedly still friends.

Tracy Morgan left abruptly for an emergency transplant

Tracy Morgan disappeared from 30 Rock for a few weeks to get an emergency kidney transplant, missing two episodes of the show in the 2010-2011 season, E! News reported.

Time reported that Morgan, who has diabetes, missed two episodes that aired in March 2011. Morgan's character's absence was written in as a meltdown because of something good that happened to him, Time shared.

Believe it or not, Morgan wasn't the first member of the cast to get a new kidney. Grizz Chapman, whose character was a member of Jordan's entourage, got a kidney transplant the same year as Morgan because of end-stage renal disease, Time said.