An appearance on “30 Rock” may be the best gig in television.
Seven actors were nominated Thursday for their guest performances on the NBC comedy, a near monopoly on the categories for guest actors and actresses in a comedy series — Edie Falco, Steve Buscemi, Will Arnett, Carrie Fisher, Elaine Stritch, Rip Torn and Tim Conway.
“They write great parts for all the regulars on the show and they write great parts for the people who get to come on the show,” Arnett said Thursday. “When they bring guest characters on to the show, they really try to give them something to do.”
Arnett, who was previously nominated for a performance on “Arrested Development,” said he thought Tina Fey and her writing staff are very generous with the parts, giving guests a lot of room to fit into an already crowded cast. As the nemesis of Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), Arnett plays an ambitious executive who can’t stop revealing his Achilles’ heel: his infatuation with NBC page Kenneth Parcell (Jack McBrayer).
“30 Rock” pulled in 17 nominations, including outstanding comedy series and acting nods for Fey and Baldwin. Last year, it won the Emmy for best comedy series, and Stritch took home an award for her guest performance.
“30 Rock” was conceived as a show about the people behind the scenes of a sketch comedy program like “Saturday Night Live” — where Fey was head writer and got accustomed to penning material for different hosts each week. (Fey also was nominated for her hosting job on “SNL” last season.)
Jennifer McNamara Shroff, who was nominated for her casting job on “30 Rock,” credited both the show’s cast and writers.
“That being said, our goal next year is a clean sweep of all acting categories and then a tie so everyone wins,” Shroff joked.
Among the “30 Rock” guests who were NOT nominated: Jerry Seinfeld, David Schwimmer and Al Gore.