For some inexplicable reason, the powers-that-be decided to release the first season of 30 Rock (2006) on DVD in this country without any of the extras that were on the original U.S. release… but this year, I finally got around to buying a copy from “across the pond”, to complete my collection. And I’m glad I did, because there’s a lot of fun stuff on that third disc, including a 13 minute long “blooper reel” that was prepared for the cast/crew wrap party, and two behind-the-scene set tours hosted by Jack McBrayer, Judah Friedlander, and Lonny Ross (both as himself, and in character as ‘Josh Girard’… who I still kinda miss…).
I was a little wary of the “An Evening With Kenneth” (aka “Kenneth the Webpage”) section, fearing it would be some sort of off-brand webisode thingy like those crappy “Jack Donaghy” cartoons they bundled with the later seasons… but these turned out to be properly funny (and Emmy-nominated!) slices of strangeness, starring major cast members, on a par with the parent show. The basic conceit is that ‘Kenneth’ (McBrayer) records his own little YouTube talk show at his page desk, after (almost) everyone else has gone home, and he somehow manages to rope in ‘Frank’ (Friedlander), ‘Tracy’ (Tracy Morgan) and ‘Jenna’ (Jane Krakowski) as his guests. Although I loved Jenna’s increasingly vamped-up rendition of “Turkey in the Straw”, the highlight of these skits for me would have to be Kenneth’s sax-playing alter-ego “Doctor Funk” (who may or may not have been “doing the pot”).
Other than that, I also enjoyed Tina Fey‘s commentary track for “Black Tie” (ep #1.12)… which included the revelation that ‘Prince Gerhardt’s’ (Paul Reubens) tiny left hand was (in universe) carved from ivory and given to him as a child, presumably when he lost his real hand, which is why it’s so small. That doesn’t make it any less bizarre to look at, of course, but it’s kinda nice to know there was some logic behind it, at least. Fey also praised the intensity of special-guest-star Isabella Rossellini, and observed that supporting actress April L. Hernandez has “sweet jugs”. Of course, as a feminist I find that sort of objectification deeply offensive… but she ain’t wrong!