30 Rock's Top 20 Recurring Characters

By Katey Rich 2013-01-31 10:34:38 discussion comments
#8: Kathy Geiss (Marceline Hugot)
On another show Kathy could have been just a pawn, the heir to Don Geiss whom Devon Banks agrees to marry solely to take over the company, an idiot not at all capable of the job. But in the hands of 30 Rock Kathy become a grade-A weirdo, obsessed with unicorns and Mark Wahlberg, prone to fits of violence and putting in appropriate things in her mouth, and-- just when you thought you'd seen the last of her-- performing a beautiful rendition of "I Dreamed A Dream" to audition for TGS. Kathy Geiss did more with the fewest lines than nearly anyone else on the show, and kudos to 30 Rock for making her terrible haircut and flushed cheeks maybe the 10th most bizarre thing about her.

#7: Paul L'Astname (Will Forte)
Jenna falling in love with the female impersonator version of herself is such an obvious joke it's surprising it wasn't a punchline earlier on the show. But maybe the writers were saving themselves for the actual character of Paul, who is somehow even weirder than Jenna and coaxes her into sex acts that somehow even top Mickey Rourke's sex grill. As the show got closer to wrapping up this season, Paul and Jenna's relationship became legitimately sweet-- their wedding may have required crashing Jack's mother's funeral and Paul dressing up as a stone gargoyle, but hey, it was love.

#6: Devon Banks (Will Arnett)
From seducing Kenneth the Page in a robe he cut short himself to starting life over again as a spin instructor ("I quit, cows. Tell your husbands I tried."), Devon Banks threw himself into absolutely everything he did, which made him a surprisingly versatile adversary for Jack right up until the very end. He might legitimately be one of the best gay characters ever on TV-- not the most sympathetic, of course, but an evil mastermind whose sexuality rarely had anything to do with his schemes. Whoever dreamed up the idea of Arnett and Baldwin matching each others' gravelly tones (in a "talking like this contest") deserved to share the Emmy Arnett got nominated for.

#5: Brian Williams (Brian Williams)
The first time Brian Williams poked fun at himself on 30 Rock, he wasn't even on the show-- Kenneth was charged with cleaning up Williams's destroyed dressing room, with a pizza stuck to the ceiling and a tube sock full of birdseed. Eventually, somehow, the legitimately powerful news anchor started appearing on the show himself, as an increasingly weird version of his actual self. Why in the world would a news anchor want to look ridiculous on the same network where he's required to look serious and respectable? I have no idea. But thank God he did.
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