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Jack McBrayer Wouldn't Have Been On '30 Rock' Without Conan O'Brien's Staff

By Andrew Sanford | TV | September 20, 2022 |

By Andrew Sanford | TV | September 20, 2022 |


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In Hollywood, it’s all about who you know, and Jack McBrayer knows Conan O’Brien and Tina Fey. He worked hard to get to know the two legendary comedians. Jack worked his way up the ranks in Second City in Chicago. There he met and made an impression on Tina Fey and her husband (and Jack’s director), Jeff Richmond. Jack’s work eventually led him to New York City, where he would earn minor roles on Conan’s Late Night show. Finally, Jack’s two connections would change his life.

On the most recent Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend, McBrayer explained his audition process for Tina Fey’s hit show 30 Rock. While the role of Kenneth Parcell was written for him, he still had to audition. Wanting to nail the audition, Jack went the extra mile and stopped by Conan’s studio. Jack was then gussied up by O’Brien’s hair and makeup team, and he got to borrow an NBC Page jacket! He basically walked into the audition as Kenneth the Page!

The rest, as they say, is history. Conan even notes that, after Jack began starring in 30 Rock, he returned to Conan’s show as a celebrity. The audience would get excited to see him. Whereas before he was playing the part of a country bumpkin, now he was an actual country bumkpin, but from a famous TV show! All thanks to Conan O’Brien and Tina Fey.

I’d be remiss if I did not mention that this episode of Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend made me laugh harder than I have in some time. Conan and Jack have a back and forth throughout the show that had me in stitches. Conan will often razz McBrayer for being an aforementioned country bumpkin, and Jack is more than happy to play along. Yes, he plays along by denying every accusation Conan makes, but it’s pretty damn hilarious. The whole episode is worth a listen (and a relisten).



Andrew lives in NYC. You can follow him on Twitter.



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