It’s a double whammy. Last week we learned Steve Carell was officially leaving “The Office” at the end of next season. And now, in a video interview with CNN, Alec Baldwin says he won’t return to “30 Rock” when his contract is up in 2012. He gives his reasoning to Alina Cho:
”As much as I like acting, I know that I would love to have a different life… A private life… I’d rather go do other things.”
If you know your “30 Rock,” you know simply getting Baldwin on the show in the first place was something of a minor miracle. Like Sean Penn and a host of other actors, Baldwin has spent a long time talking about “retiring” from acting one day. But there’s a reason guys like Penn and Baldwin never follow through on their threats, and that is that they’re really, really, really good at acting. Much better than most everyone else. And it’s hard to leave a profession when you’re so skilled at it. It’s nice to be good at something. Take it from someone who isn’t good at ANYTHING.
So I take this announcement from Baldwin with a grain of salt. After all, you never know if he’ll need cash in the future for things like divorces or lawsuits against Fox News. However, “30 Rock” fans should prepare themselves for life at the show without Baldwin. I think one of the best solutions Tina Fey has to keep the show going is to replace Baldwin permanently with Will Arnett, who already has a recurring character on the show (who spars with Baldwin brilliantly), and who has Baldwin’s same talent for grave deadpan comedy. It’s the only solution, really. Because a world without Jack Donaghy is poorer one indeed.