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September 18, 2014

Best '30 Rock' Guest Stars: Oh, They Went to There

by Daynah Burnett, posted Nov 12th 2009 1:00PM
Blurg! Does '30 Rock' ever love having guest stars!

With almost 100 guest appearances so far and only in its fourth season, the series has gained a well-deserved reputation for snagging all kinds of A-listers
. Ranging from silly to meta to awesome, we've compiled a list of our favorite star turns on '30 Rock' that's sure to blow your mind grapes. Blurg! Does '30 Rock' ever love having guest stars!

With almost 100 guest appearances so far and only in its fourth season, the series has gained a well-deserved reputation for snagging all kinds of A-listers
. Ranging from silly to meta to awesome, we've compiled a list of our favorite star turns on '30 Rock' that's sure to blow your mind grapes.

Jon Hamm as "Dr. Drew Baird"
After accidentally drugging her love interest and neighbor, Dr. Drew Baird, Liz Lemon gets an opportunity to start fresh with him, but the date begins with a wardrobe malfunction and ends with his dying mother entrusting Liz with an awkward deathbed secret. An episode later, Liz realizes that Drew's hotness is more an impediment than an asset, and though they part ways, Drew might just go down as Liz's dreamiest bf ever.


Carrie Fisher as "Rosemary Howard"
After inviting her childhood idol Rosemary Howard to write for 'TGS,' Liz Lemon is shocked when she learns firsthand that Howard is a delusional pothead who unwittingly crashed and burned her own career -- a situation made meta-funny because of Fisher's own public struggle with mental illness and addiction.


Isabella Rossellini as "Bianca"
The closest thing to Hollywood royalty, Isabella Rossellini's appearance as Jack Donaghy's ex-wife Bianca gave '30 Rock''s audience one of the first glimpses into Jack's hush-hush personal life. Attempting to get his divorce finalized, Bianca signs the papers happily, then snaps, attacking Liz Lemon when she finally sees Jack with someone who could actually make him happy. Aww.


Will Arnett as "Devon Banks"
Jack's arch nemesis NBC VP Devon Banks has made a career out of botched corporate sabotage, and it seems each time he rears his head on '30 Rock' it's always in an attempt to usurp Jack's power, simply out of "hate-respect." In his most recent appearance this season, Jack and Devon's tete-a-tete involved a gripping exchange of deep voices and an invisible laser battle.



Matthew Broderick as "Cooter Burger"
Responsible for accidentally unleashing a "gay bomb" on an unsuspecting Pentagon (which included Dick Cheney), government employee Cooter Burger's admiration for Jack Donaghy has no bounds, as the two dare to dream the American dream of replenishing the Bush administration's pen supply.

Jennifer Aniston
as "Claire Harper"
Sparks fly between Liz Lemon's old friend Claire and Jack Donaghy, and within minutes of meeting, Jack and Claire are "riding the F train." Despite Liz's persistent warnings ("She's crazy. Like, 'grab a cop's gun' crazy"), Jack finds himself ensnared in a harrowing sexual fling, one that ends up being less about Jack and more about a long-standing rivalry between Claire and Liz.

Steve Buscemi as "Len"
As recurring character Len, Buscemi plays the smug private detective that Jack Donaghy intermittently hires to unearth secrets about his past before his enemies can. His most disturbing discovery by far? Jack's collection of cookie jars.

Edie Falco as "Celeste 'C.C.' Cunningham"
After their initial passionate tryst, Jack Donaghy discovers that C.C.Cunningham is actually a Democratic Congresswoman fighting for a small town's recovery after hair dye is accidentally dumped into their local river, turning the townschildren orange. She eventually comes to Jack's rescue by approving a "gay bomb" in order to relieve Jack of a political appointment from which he can't seem to just quit. Their romance, however, lasts only two episodes.

Salma Hayek as "Elisa"
After Elisa cares for Jack Donaghy's disapproving convalescent mother, she and Jack begin a romantic relationship, partially built on their mutual love of McDonald's McFlurries. Jack proposes and Elisa flees to Puerto Rico, only to be outed as an infamous Latina Black Widow. Looks like Jack's mother had been right all along ...

Nathan Lane as "Eddie Donaghy"
When Jack Donaghy's bother Eddie arrives at '30 Rock" claiming that their father has died, their family feuding subsides long enough to stage an impromptu reunion (including Molly Shannon as their little sister, Katherine Catherine Donaghy) in their late father's honor. When the supposedly dead father turns up as well, mayhem ensues.

Steve Martin as "Gavin Volure"
After an introduction by his old friend Jack Donaghy, eccentric billionaire Gavin Volure becomes smitten with Liz Lemon, but is too riddled with phobias to even kiss her hand, let alone leave his mansion with her for a date. But when it's discovered that Volure's agoraphobia is actually a ruse to hide his house arrest for tax fraud, Liz's dignity suffers a mortal blow for letting Gavin cop a feel out of pity while they watched 'Top Chef' together.
Conan O' Brien as Himself
Even in its early days, '30 Rock' was committed to proving to audiences what a wild card character Tracy Jordan is, and few episodes highlight that as hilariously as Tracy's under-medicated stint on 'Late Night with Conan O'Brien'. Conan's uncharacteristic blend of exasperation and contempt make for a particularly awesome guest appearance, not to mention the not-so-subtle hints at Conan's past with Liz Lemon.


Brian Williams as Himself
During open audition for a new cast slot on 'TGS,' Brian Williams attempts to showcase his comedic versatility with a "Fuhgettaboudit" wiseguy character from Jersey. Between anchoring 'NBC Nightly News', repeat appearances on 'The Daily Show' and his BriTunes web series that supports all kinds of indie rock, is there anything that Brian Williams can't do?



Oprah Winfrey as Herself
Though only a drug-induced hallucination, Liz Lemon's meaningful heart-to-heart with Oprah Winfrey on an airplane did ultimately help ease racial and gender relations on the set of 'TGS.' And even though Liz's "Oprah" was revealed to only be an anonymous African-American junior-high schooler, she still managed to convince Jenna and Tracy that they can all just get along.


Fun Fact: Season Three finale "Kidney Now!" holds the record for the most guest stars in a single 30 Rock episode: 21!

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