The “30 Rock” BuildingNov 9th, 2009 | By Lindsay | Category: TV Locations
One of the locales at the very top of this year’s New York vacation’s must-stalk list was the main building featured on my new favorite television show 30 Rock. For some reason, until we rented the series earlier this past summer, neither my fiancé nor I had ever seen even a single episode of the NBC comedy. For years we had both heard how great the show was, but, for some odd reason, had never tuned in. So, when we finally sat down to watch Seasons 1, 2, and 3 in early June, I must say I had some pretty high hopes. And, to be honest, I really didn’t get what all the hoopla was about . . . until we watched the fifth episode of the series which was entitled “Jack-Tor”.! In the episode, GE Microwave Division executive Jack Donaghy (aka Alec Baldwin) tries to film an informational video about product placement for his staff to watch and, I swear, I don’t think I stopped laughing once during the show’s entire 22 minute duration! It was ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS. From that moment on not only did I completely love the show, but also one of its main actors – Alec Baldwin – which is something I NEVER before would have thought possible. Who knew Alec Baldwin was so funny?? Anyway, for those of you out there who have yet to see an episode of the series, I offer this piece of advice – you simply must tune in!!!! Every episode is laugh-out-loud HILARIOUS – and, let me tell you, there is nothing I like to do more than laugh out loud! So, while in New York last month, I, of course, just HAD to stalk the GE Building where Jack Donaghy, Liz Lemon, and the rest of the 30 Rock gang work on the series.
Because the GE Building (pictured above) is located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza it has been dubbed “30 Rock”, which is, of course, how the show got its name. And while the GE Building is, of course, famous in and of itself and has appeared in countless movie and television productions over the years, for today’s post I thought I would focus solely on its role in 30 Rock. The series, which was conceived and created by comedienne Tina Fey, centers around a group of writers and actors and their weekly struggles in putting together the fictional television show TGS with Tracy Jordan. TGS is based on the real life sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live, on which Tina Fey worked as an actor and head writer for over seven years. Because SNL is filmed each week on a soundstage inside of the GE Building, Tina decided to set her fictional series in the exact same location. In reality, though, while the GE Building is used for all exterior set-up shots on the show, 30 Rock is actually filmed inside of a soundstage on the Silvercup Studios lot in Queens.
Several different areas of the GE Building are featured prominently in the opening credits of 30 Rock (which you can watch here) each week and it was those areas that I set out to stalk while in New York last month. Ironically enough, though, because Rockefeller Center is so darn huge, I actually had a hard time finding the particular locations I wanted to stalk and had to ask a nearby policeman for help! LOL Thankfully, though, he was also a big fan of the show and was able to point me in the right direction. The first locale I wanted to stalk was the ornate gold-plated 30 Rockefeller Plaza sign that is shown towards the beginning of the opening credits. I wasn’t even sure where to begin looking for that particular placard, though, and had incorrectly assumed it would be located somewhere on one of the building’s exterior walls. In actuality, the sign is located on the ground just outside of the GE Building’s main entrance – and it’s absolutely HUGE in person!!! I had no idea it would that big! LOL It was so large, in fact, that we couldn’t take a very good picture of it as we couldn’t get the whole thing to fit in our camera lens. LOL
The next spot I wanted to stalk was the gold lettered “30 Rockefeller Plaza” sign with the grey marble background that quickly runs from right to left across the screen at the very end of the 30 Rock opening credits. It turns out that the sign is located just to the left of the GE Building’s main entrance and is extremely hard to see in person. The policemen actually pointed out the sign to me no less than four times before I could actually see it! LOL He actually had to walk up and physically touch it before I realized what he was talking about. LOL The sign is actually much smaller than I expected it to be and is very hard to see from far away, thanks to the reflection of the sun off its marble background.
And because we didn’t get very good photographs of it the first time around, we had to actually head back there the very next day to take some additional pictures, which is why I am wearing a different outfit in the above pic. But you can tell how hard it is to see the sign from far away in the above photograph.
And where is the GE Building’s side entrance which is also sometimes featured on the series? It’s actually just around the corner from the building’s main entrance and the two “30 Rockefeller Plaza” signs I talked about above. The side entrance is actually the main entrance of New York’s NBC Studios and is featured quite frequently on 30 Rock. Besides being shown regularly in establishing shots, the side entrance has also been used in the actual filming of certain episodes, as was the case in the Season Four opener entitled “Season Four” – LOL- in which Kenneth the Page leads his fellow pages along with a group of mall santas, horse whisperers, bucket drummers, and TGS’ two lead actors – again LOL – in a mass picket outside of NBC studios (pictured above). The demands of that picket, you ask? That GE exec Jack Donaghy sign a piece of paper stating “I am a big, old liar.” LOL LOL LOL
I cannot tell you how cool it was to finally be able to stalk the various locations featured each week in the opening credits of 30 Rock! I could NOT have been more excited! And for those of you out there who have never seen the show, you really need to start tuning in! However, I’d really recommend renting Season 1 and watching the series from the very beginning.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: As its name implies, the 30 Rock building, aka the GE building, is located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York. Both of the gold-lettered “30 Rockefeller Plaza” signs can be found at the front entrance of the building. The first one is located on the ground directly outside of the building’s front doors and the second is located on the wall just to the right of the main entrance. The NBC Studios entrance can be found on 50th Street between Rockefeller Plaza and 6th Avenue. Liz Lemon’s apartment building – which I unfortunately did not stalk while in New York – is located at 160 Riverside Drive in New York’s Upper West Side.