Now that 30 Rock has afforded us the pleasure of catching up with Alec Baldwin on a near-weekly basis, the mental image that we conjure up when people mention the name "Alec Baldwin" is that of his current self. Meaning, because of the way active television-watchers develop a sense of familiarity with recurring characters, the name "Alec Baldwin" is now primarily associated in our minds with the well-distinguished (if slightly bloated) 50-year-old television star, not the wiry, jet-black-haired lothario type that slept on Kevin Bacon's couch in She's Having a Baby. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this, by the way: We'd rather see more of Baldwin than less of him (literally and figuratively). However, a new book about the perils of addiction called Moments of Clarity may make us see him through fresh eyes once again. In it, he reveals that during the booze-soaked and blow-infested eighties, he used to wind down his wild nights of partying by heading to a video-game parlor and popping quarters in ... wait for it ... a Galaga machine!
"I would play video games from, like, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., and I would wind down. Then I'd go home and go to bed," Baldwin writes.
"This was the only way I could go 'beta' and go into that state I needed to be, where I could calm down and take my mind off everything. I didn't want to see anybody, talk to anybody, deal with anybody."
"Julian [the guy who ran the place] would put the key in the lock and open the door, and he would just kind of look at me like, 'Wow, I'm glad I'm not you.'"
Baldwin agreed. "You got no idea, Julian. Julian, I need you. I need you to get that key and open the f- - -ing door and let me in. I got to play 'Galaga.' "
Tina Fey, are you listening? We fully expect you to figure out a way to get Jack Donaghy playing Galaga (preferably while flanked by Grizz and Dot Com) by year's end. And as much as we'd like to believe that Baldwin's recollection of these matters is wholly accurate, we have a sneaking suspicion that the Julian he's thinking of was really just Robert Downey Jr. in Less Than Zero. Still, it couldn't hurt to make sure that someone keeps him away from the Xbox Live Arcade; we wouldn't want him slipping back into any bad habits, now would we?
BALDWIN: I WAS AN ALEC-OHOLIC [NYP]