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Since its debut, the critically acclaimed "30 Rock" hasn't shied away from employing absurd storylines or ridiculous situations in service of a joke. But this week's episode may push the envelope even further.
The cast and crew of NBC's Thursday night mainstay are in the last stages of intense preparations for their first live outing, reports the New York Daily News.
Jack McBrayer, who plays Kenneth Parcell, a goofy but lovable page, says that the experience "will be invigorating" for the cast, but as the same he's "scared to death," he said in an interview with the News.
"It's going to be a lot of fun and I think it will be fun for us to do a show in front of a live audience," said Tiny Fey, who plays the geeky show runner, Liz Lemon.
"It would be nice to prove people actually would laugh. We could be proven wrong," she said.
The show will air live on Thursday night in its regular time slot of 8:30 p.m., though the West Coast version will be modified with some California-specific jokes tossed into the equation.
"30 Rock" has the great benefit of fielding a cast stocked with former "Saturday Night Live" players, which should ease the preparation somewhat. Fey and Tracy Morgan both have plenty of "SNL" experience under their belts and Alec Baldwin, who plays studio executive Jack Donaghy, has hosted the long-running skit comedy show 15 times, tying him with comic Steve Martin as "SNL's" most frequent host. "SNL" creator Lorne Michaels is also a "30 Rock" producer. In addition, Jane Krakowski, who plays Lemon's best friend Jenna Maroney, is a trained singer and award winning stage actress.
McBrayer, for his part, just hopes he doesn't get too scared or frustrated by acting in front of a live audience.
"A knee-jerk reaction is to swear," he says. "I'm kinda worried about swearing."
Krakowski is also nervous about the taping.
"I just don't want to be the first one to make a mistake," she said. "There's another character that's going to be there, which is the live audience. I think the adrenaline is going to be crazy high that day."