Brian Williams, Comedian

It helps that Williams is a student of the form. Fey accuses him of having “a nerdy obsession with comedy,” the kind you typically find among comedians. Williams confesses that while he dreamed of being Cronkite as a kid, he stayed up to watch Carson every night he was allowed to. He pored over the work of Pryor and Kinison. He sent away for Saturday Night Live tickets after watching the premiere episode. (He got them and attended a season-two episode that, according to Williams, Lorne Michaels still considers one of the worst nights in the show’s 36-year run. Broderick Crawford hosted.)Williams told me he occasionally marks up 30 Rock scripts because the material they want him to do is too risqué. Fey confirmed that she gets notes from the anchor — with suggestions on how to improve the jokes.