Wednesday, March 7, 2012

30 Rock Supporting Main Characters

Pete Hornberger

Peter "Pete" Hornberger (Scott Adsit) is the reasonable, quick-witted producer of TGS and Liz's most-trusted friend. He works closely with Liz, whom (as mentioned in "Blind Date") he has known for a decade. In the pilot, incoming NBC executive Jack Donaghy fired Pete without consulting Liz; however, she convinced him to hire Pete back. Liz confides in Pete; sometimes he seems to be the only competent person she works with, and the one who will be honest about her personal life. Like Liz, Pete plays straight man to the other characters (even to her, when she is overstressed). He is an olympic-level archer.

Frank Rossitano

Francis "Frank" Rossitano (Judah Friedlander) is a trucker-hat-wearing, childish, sarcastic writer at TGS. After Liz, Frank is the most prominently-featured writer of the show-within-a-show. He wears a variety of trucker hats with humorous phrases (which Friedlander also wears in real life) and large, thick-lensed glasses.

Friedlander says he makes the hats for his character himself, using phrases he invents; in episode S03E18 where Liz is forced to stay home, one of her final requests before being forced out of the building was to know what Frank's hat said. Frank first started wearing the hats at the age of 14; his eighth-grade class photo shows him in a hat reading "My First Hat". Frank's character is similar to former Saturday Night Live writer Frank Sebastiano, who worked with Tina Fey for several years.

Cerie

Cerie (Katrina Bowden) is Liz's attractive, laid-back personal assistant who wears revealing outfits to work (to the delight of the writers). She is the youngest member on the show's staff, but her age is unknown. Cerie's humor derives from what she says to (and assumes about) Liz; she is convinced that Liz was once married. This insensitivity is from naïveté, not malice. She does not respect her boss; in the pilot she politely declined Liz's request to get her coffee, instead preferring to lounge on the couch.

Toofer Spurlock

James "Toofer" Spurlock (Keith Powell) is a proud African-American Harvard University alumnus and TGS writer, who often disagrees with Tracy and Frank (although he and Frank often socialize with Lutz). He detests the stereotypical aspects of black culture he believes are embodied by Tracy Jordan, and he serves as a foil to Tracy. According to Liz, Toofer is "afraid of black people". He claims pride in his black heritage, showing off a photo of an ancestor who was an officer in the Civil War; later, he discovers the man actually fought for the Confederacy. According to Jack, his nickname is "Toofer" because "with him you get a two-for-one; he's a black guy and a Harvard guy". Frank (with whom he shares an office) called him a "black nerd" à la Steve Urkel. It was revealed in season 4, episode 17 that Toofer was only hired because of affirmative action; he quits in anger, before he agrees to return.

Jonathan

Jonathan (Maulik Pancholy) is Jack's assistant, whom Jack hired after (under the influence of a sedative) mistaking him for M. Night Shyamalan on a flight. Jonathan (last name unknown) fawns on Jack, occasionally showing a vague sexual affection for him. When Liz observed that Jack was "a bit of a stress eater" in the episode "The Baby Show" Jonathan defended him, saying emotionally that "he puts up with so much" (referring to Jack's overbearing mother). His obsessive admiration of Jack is coupled with disdain towards Liz, whom he considers unworthy of Jack's attention. In "Secret Santa" it is mentioned that Jonathan has a sister who was once imprisoned in a North Korean jail; Jack had her released as a Christmas gift, in keeping with his custom of giving lavish (and un-toppable) holiday gifts. In "Klaus and Greta" Jonathan mentions that he met his "birth parents", revealing that he is adopted; in Anna Howard Shaw Day, he gleefully tells Jack that he once ran over an elderly woman in Arizona and just kept driving. In season 4, episode 11 ("Winter Madness") it is revealed that Jonathan is Indian when Jack says, "Jonathan, why do I have an Indian assistant if..." During the same season (in episode 18, entitled "Khonani") this is reinforced when Jonathan says to the janitor (Khonani) in Hindi, "Popes and princes count their Donaghy time in seconds!" In the season-five episode Let's Stay Together Jack asks Jonathan to provide a distraction by pretending to be a stereotypical Indian and faking an Indian accent, to which Jonathan objects "But I'm from Palo Alto!" In a later episode that season (Operation Righteous Cowboy Lightning) Jonathan reacts with glee to news of a natural disaster in Pakistan, hopeful it took place in Jammu and Kashmir (referred to by him as "Indian Kashmir").

Grizz

Warren "Grizz" Griswold (Grizz Chapman) is a member of Tracy's entourage. A recurring character during the first two seasons, he is credited as a series regular in seasons three and four. Within the entourage, Grizz is charged with "sitting on" Tracy when he is overstimulated.

Dot Com

Walter "Dot Com" Slattery (Kevin Brown) is another member of Tracy's entourage. Another recurring character during the first two seasons, he is also credited as a series regular during seasons three and four. Dot Com is Tracy's driver and cook; in "Hard Ball", their last names are revealed. Dot Com is an intellectual; a 1993 graduate of Wesleyan University, he once portrayed Boris Alexeyevich Trigorin in Anton Chekhov's The Seagull.

Lutz

J. D. Lutz (John Lutz) is a lazy, overweight TGS writer who is often ridiculed by the rest of the staff. When characters enter the room they sometimes yell, "Shut up, Lutz!" even if Lutz was not speaking at the time. The other characters are unconcerned about his well-being; when Lutz ran headfirst into a wall in "The Ones", no one helped him until a wall-mounted television fell on him. Lutz is originally from Alaska (which he hates); his grandmother recently died. His first two initials were mentioned in "The Aftermath", where it was also revealed that he has a thyroid problem. He attended Oberlin College; after his junior year, he traveled to South by Southwest (an event-planning company in Austin, Texas). The show implies that he is a gay man in the process of coming out, although everyone ignores (or forgets) this due to their dislike of him. Lutz periodically mentions a girlfriend who lives in Canada, named Karen. No one believes him; therefore, Lutz created a website (JDLutz.com/karen/proof—an actual page on the 30 Rock website).

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