Thursday, March 8, 2012

30 Rock Recurring GE/NBC/Kabletown employees

Danny Baker

Jack "Danny" Baker (Cheyenne Jackson) is the newest TGS cast member, hired in an open tryout. Danny is originally from Ottawa, and got his start as a robotic street performer (portrayed by Daniel Genalo). On his first day of work (without his silver clothes and makeup), he was told his new name was Danny to prevent confusion with Jack Donaghy. He had a sexual relationship with Liz (to Jack's disapproval), evidenced by awkwardly-placed hand prints by robotic makeup (visible in ultraviolet light). Danny defers to Jenna when his singing talent makes her jealous, to the point of deliberately singing badly during a Christmas special so she can step in and shine. He mentions that he has a hard time recognizing sarcasm because Canada has a small Jewish population, and was shocked to discover he was adopted (although his mother is Asian).

Don Geiss

Don Geiss (Rip Torn) (ˈɡaɪs/) is CEO of General Electric (GE) on the show, and Jack's boss. Jack considers Geiss his mentor, and idolizes him. Geiss has a mentally-challenged daughter (Kathy), a secret second family in Canada (a reference to Torn's role in Eulogy) and a third (secret) attic family. In "Future Husband" Geiss dies, but (real-world) former GE chairman Jack Welch keeps his death a secret while GE negotiates a takeover with the (fictional) Philadelphia-based cable company Kabletown (which is based on Comcast). Geiss is cryogenically frozen in carbonite in an Episcopal service.

Josh Girard

Josh (Lonny Ross) was the male star of the show TGS before Tracy was hired. Liz found him while he was opening for a puppet. He, Tracy and Jenna Maroney are the three main actors on the show. It has also been said that his character is based on SNL alumnus Jimmy Fallon. Apparently, Josh also acts as a writer as well as star of the show, as he is frequently seen in the writers room brainstorming, whereas Jenna is not. Often referred to as being a "kid", Josh is described in dialogue in a way that implies he is young, guileless and unintelligent. He is indeed typically portrayed as lacking smarts and he is often shown doing things that are considered juvenile.

Most of Josh's work on the show seems to be as an impressionist; he has performed impressions of Ray Romano, Michael Jackson, Stone Phillips, and Jay Leno.

His impressions have raised eyebrows from people who are not impressed, like Elizabeth Taylor (played by Rachel Dratch), who knocked him out with an extinguisher and leaving him severely concussed after he did a sketch that offended her in which he impersonated the actress. Original characters that he plays on the show include "Dr. Ridiculous", a Chinese man named Mr. Wang and Gaybraham Lincoln. In "The Baby Show," Tracy got mad at Josh for impersonating him, claiming that Josh was turning him into a caricature. In "Hard Ball", it is implied that Josh is Jewish, and in a carry over during "Ludachristmas", from the "Secret Rodney" ads that were running, Kenneth says "Merry Jewish" to Josh when passing out gifts. He, Frank, and Toofer are often observed fooling around and admiring Cerie.

In the episode "The Break-Up", Josh states that his parents raised him as a girl for ten years. Jack Donaghy mentions in the show's second episode that Josh had a 760 SAT score and graduated from SUNY Cortland. In "Hard Ball", Josh's agent Alan Steiner is introduced. In sharp contrast to Josh, Steiner was portrayed as slick and cunning. Steiner uses unnecessary abbreviations and has a "really bad sex addiction."

In "The Rural Juror", Josh snuck into Liz's office to get her copy of The Rural Juror, and quickly dislikes it upon seeing the title ("Well, this is disappointing...I had to let Tony [the security guard] watch me pee to get that tape.").

Kathy Geiss

Kathy Geiss (Marceline Hugot) is Don Geiss' daughter. She is plump, 40-something and appears to suffer from rosacea. Kathy likes unicorns, Mark Wahlberg and soap operas. She has been seen putting toy race cars in her mouth and eating flowers; Kathy is also a gifted singer, a talent she shares with Susan Boyle. She rarely speaks, however; when she does, it is in repeated single words (such as "kiss kiss kiss" in "Do-Over". When her father was in a coma, Kathy held the titles of Chairman and CEO of GE and President of East Coast Television and Microwave Oven Programming. Kathy was a figurehead, however; her fiance (Devon Banks) ran the company.

Devon Banks

Devon Banks (Will Arnett) is the former Vice President of West Coast News, Web Content, and Theme Park Talent Relations for NBC. In a 2008 interview with Fortune magazine, Tina Fey said that Banks' character was based on former co-chairman of NBC Entertainment Ben Silverman. Devon is the nemesis of the (older) Jack Donaghy; he is first seen in "Fireworks", when his surprise visit from Los Angeles leads Jack to believe that he is trying to take Jack's job as Vice President of East Coast Television and Microwave Oven Programming.

Devon returns in season four, after having "wormed his way into the Obama inner circle". He chairs a committee investigating incompetence at GE; Devon again attempts to destroy Jack, who undercuts him by accepting a government bailout to keep GE afloat. The later Kabletown acquisition mutes Devon's efforts to control Jack.

During "Idiots Are People Three!", we learn that Devon "went to Northwestern", where he "majored in confidence." In "Fireworks", Jack gets Jonathan to spy on Devon and he learns that Banks is gay and that he is interested in Kenneth. In time, Devon settles down and becomes a house-husband to raise triplets with his (male) partner, as seen in "Plan B". He returns in "Idiots Are People Three!", tricking Jack into using up favors he had accumulated through the years with other powerful people, in order to provide advantages to Devon's triplets, rather than his own child, Liddy.

Hank Hooper

Hank Hooper (Ken Howard), a "family man" and Vietnam veteran, is head of Kabletown. He is often angered by Jack's handling of TGS, but paradoxically always seems happy on the surface (laughing incessantly, while directing thinly-veiled insults and threats to Jack and his staff).

Howard Jorgensen

Howard Jorgensen (Brian Stack) is Vice President of Locomotives at GE and a member of the board of directors. A former protégé of Jack's, he is married to a Filipina woman, has two children and owns a house with a pool. Jack has stated that people use Jorgensen as a scapegoat.

Donny Lawson

Donny Lawson (Paul Scheer) is the head page at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, known for his weak one-liners and bizarre hand gestures. He despises Kenneth for his cheerfulness, and wants to transfer him to the CNBC studios in Paramus. Donny was introduced on the series when Jenna tries to find a replacement jacket for Kenneth; Donny uses this as an excuse to give Kenneth a demerit. He challenges him to a "page-off" (a strange contest, mixing physical stamina with NBC trivia) which is quickly broken up by Pete, who orders Donny to give Kenneth a new jacket.

Jeffrey Weinerslav

Jeffrey Weinerslav (Todd Buonopane) (pronounced "weener-slave") works for GE human resources. He tried to mediate a dispute between Jenna and Tracy, but failed. Wienerslav is a self-described "overweight transgender". He counseled Liz during her forced leave for sexual harassment (which she attempted to extend by making a pass at him).

Sue LaRoche-Van der Hout

Sue LaRoche-Van der Hout (Sue Galloway), also referred to as "girl-writer," is a TGS writer who appears to be fluent in French and Dutch (she speaks with a heavy French-Dutch accent). LaRoche-Van der Hout flees from the room when Liz demands the removal of all pornography from the staff's computers; she can be heard commenting that she likes porn when Frank (left temporarily in charge by Liz) removes the computer firewall so they can watch porn again.

Greta Johansen

Legreta "Greta" Johansen (Rachel Dratch) is a cat wrangler who works on the show. In "The Baby Show" she offered to carry the child whom Liz wants, and revealed that she owns a small ferret farm 60 miles (97 km) north of New York City. Greta hints at an obsession with Liz, mentioning that she likes to watch Liz watching TV.

Dratch has also played several minor characters (including the janitor, Jadwiga, in the season-five episode "Live Show").

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