30 Rock is finally back tonight, and, like 30 Rock seasons past, the upcoming season is chockablock with guest stars, Denise Richards, Emma Stone, James Marsden, and Kristen Schaal among them. But why stop there? There are plenty of terrific guest stars in the sea, even for a show that’s already featured Jon Hamm, Oprah, Aaron Sorkin, and Matt Damon. We present to you now our wish list of 30 Rock guest stars:
Liz seems like the kind of person who’d dream of being CJ on The West Wing, and Janney would be a perfect fit in the 30 Rock universe, where self-seriousness meets slapstick. Rewatch Drop Dead Gorgeous for proof.
Give us funny Coach! Chandler hasn’t flexed his comedy muscles much, but we’d happily settle for a few moments of earnest leadership. Or just have him date Liz. Or even better, Jenna.
Is there anyone better suited to putting Colleen Donaghy in her place than Dame Maggie Smith? Watching her play prim and proper on Downton Abbey is its own form of joy, but just imagine a guns-blazin’, free-wheelin’ Maggie Smith laying the smack down on Colleen (or Jack! Or Liz! Or anyone!).
He could play Carol’s co-pilot from long ago, whom he doesn’t really work with much anymore — not that there’s bad blood, but they both have their own things now, etc.
If you think the plotlines on 30 Rock are loopy, try the plotlines on Drake’s former stomping grounds, Degrassi: The Next Generation. Drake gave us a glimpse of his funnier side on SNL, but just imagine all the sweaters he and Pete could share.
Liz has something of a complex about not being “cool,” and there’s no one more effortlessly cool right now than Carrie Brownstein. She could play Jack’s new protégé from Kabletown’s artier, more indie network.
He’d play alterna-Lutz, Lutz’s handsome, more musical counterpart from a parallel universe.
If Ludacris can be this enthusiastic over an airport restaurant, then he and Liz pretty much belong together.
If Ludacris’s sandwiches aren’t Liz’s speed, maybe Mark Wahlberg’s Wahlburgers will be.
Liz and Jenna have often discussed their Chicago past, and McCarthy would be perfect as their friend from back in the day. McCarthy is now best known for her role in Bridesmaids, but her years on Gilmore Girls showed a gigglier, more wide-eyed side that would play well in the giddy 30 Rock realm.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas
It’s time for a comeback. He could play one of Kenneth’s nutty relatives, perhaps, or just a twisted version of himself, like James Franco did.
Jenna’s due for a new rival, and Ferrara’s due for a return to comedy; her stint on The Good Wife was great and all, but Ferrara’s easy charisma is the perfect foil for Jenna’s mania.