Though we'll miss you for the next half-hour, reading the New Yorker's brand-new, 8,168-word profile of 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin is most certainly the best thing you could do all day. Entitled "Why Me?", it's the story of a manic, magnetic actor having a mid-life career resurgence obvious to everyone but Baldwin himself. Though everyone around the actor tries to convinces him that his stint as Jack Donaghy is the role of a lifetime, Baldwin can't quite settle down and enjoy himself; in fact, he initially wanted to do no more than six episodes of 30 Rock per season. That NBC wanted (and eventually got) him to sign up for more earned this hilarious, My Name is Earl-lacerating monologue from Baldwin:
“I said, ‘Go fuck yourself,’ ” Baldwin remembered. “I saw it as network scumbags trying to fuck you around. Zucker, I like”—Jeff Zucker, now the president and C.E.O. of NBC Universal, was then running NBC television—“but everybody who works for Zucker I have reservations about.” He added, “If the show does succeed, it’ll be something of a fucking miracle, because NBC hasn’t done a fucking thing to help this show at all. This show is the red-headed stepchild in the lineup. They’ve gone out of their way to wring the last drops out of ‘My Name Is Earl’ and ‘Scrubs.’ Those shows are done! They’re cooked! Yet they do a one-hour episode of ‘Earl’! You’ve got to be fucking kidding me!” (Jeff Zucker told me, “Alec brings to ‘30 Rock’ a level of comedic excellence that is unparalleled in network television.”)
Then, this snapshot of the actor at home:
“In East Hampton, I’m a nudist and I eat meat,” Baldwin—a vegetarian—had said before my visit, expanding on the idea that he lived a quite different life on Long Island than he did in New York. “I shoot deer with a bow and arrow. I smoke the deer meat and eat it every morning with my eggs and toast. I am a homosexual. I listen to rock music, loud.” We had met at his house. Baldwin was wearing sandals; his shirt was untucked. There was nobody else at home.
Though it has been said about VP candidate Sarah Palin that her ability to wrangle four (five?) kids proves her worth as a candidate, we reserve our respect for Palin doppleganger Tina Fey, whose ability to wrangle Alec Baldwin is truly Herculean. He is a great, brash bear of a man whose pain we feel acutely; after all, a world without Jack Donaghy is a world where we would all be at home alone. [Photo Credit: AP]