Kenneth the Page: Good Acting or Just Jack McBrayer?

With the return of NBC's 30 Rock only four (loooooong) days away, the New York Times has published a feature interview with one of the show's stars, Jack McBrayer. And we're pretty sure his comment about the underwear he was required to don, for the upcoming Forgetting Sarah Marshall, marks the first time the illustrious NYT has ever run the sentence, "They are not flattering on nobody." But that's the sort of thing that happens when a true country boy makes it big.

The first time we saw Jack McBrayer was years ago at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, long before he stepped into the shoes of Kenneth the Page or stole all of his scenes in Talladega Nights. But when this goofy smile-attached-to-a-body walked onstage, the whole crowd erupted in applause. He may not have been known to the public, but to those who knew him, he was already a superstar.

What makes McBrayer so likable as Kenneth the Page is the same thing that once earned him Employee of the Month at Applebee's: He is, in life as on 30 Rock, the sort of wide-eyed, aw shucks Georgia boy that all those dead-inside primetime TV executives simply cannot understand. (Often literally, as his ridiculously thick Southern drawl kept him from booking roles early on.) Jack McBrayer is the state fair in a velvet rope nightclub world, and we all want to eat his fried cheese on a stick.