The Many Faces of Rachel Dratch on ’30 Rock’
In the original pilot of 30 Rock, Rachel Dratch played the role of Jenna, Liz’s friend and the star of The Girlie Show, but she was let go after Tina Fey decided to rewrite the character. Jenna ended up becoming a vain, delusional diva, and now it’s hard to imagine her being played by anyone other than the fantastic Jane Krakowski. However, this gave hilarious SNL veteran Rachel Dratch the opportunity to be part of the show in another way: by playing a lot of bizarre small roles, from the TGS cat wrangler to a blue plush creature in Liz’s hallucinations. We need to appreciate the great work Rachel Dratch did on 30 Rock as a character actress. Her multiple cameo appearances became a running gag in and of themselves. She even played two different characters in the same episode, “100 Part 2.” She appeared a lot during the first season and came back for the 100th episode and the first live show. Here are all of Rachel Dratch’s cameos in chronological order.
Episodes: Season 1 Episode 1: “Pilot,” Season 1 Episode 9: “The Baby Show,” Season 1 Episode 14: “The C Word,” Season 5 Episode 20: “100 Part 1,” Season 5 Episode 21: “100 Part 2”
The cat wrangler for TGS. She is a fan of baggy crewneck sweatshirts and has a crush on Liz Lemon.
Episodes: Season 1 Episode 2: “The Aftermath”
The Hispanic cleaning lady who works for the owners of the boat that Tracy Jordan stole for a TGS party. Liz finds her hiding in the closet and realizes Tracy was lying about owning the boat.
Episodes: Season 1 Episode 6: “Jack Meets Dennis”
Elizabeth Taylor hunts Josh down at TGS to get revenge on him for his impression of her. She lurks in the shadows the entire time. If you’re looking just at the eyes and hair, Rachel Dratch is not dissimilar to Elizabeth Taylor.
Episodes: Season 1 Episode 7: “Tracy Does Conan,” Season 5 Episode 20: “100 Part 1,” Season 5 Episode 21: “100 Part 2”
Tracy hallucinates this gibberish-spouting, bowling pin-shaped “blue man” as a reaction to his new medication. After Liz gives blood and forgets to eat afterward, she sees him too. Liz sees the blue man again in another episode while hallucinating during a gas leak.
Episodes: Season 1 Episode 8: “The Break-Up”
The employee who conducts a sensitivity training session at TGS after Toofer complains that Tracy called him the “n” word. She instructs the group that they can’t use words like queerburger, faggottron, and gaybird.
Episodes: Season 1 Episode 10: “The Rural Juror”
Barbara Walters interviews Jenna on The View about her movie The Rural Juror. Unfortunately, Barbara Walters’ pronunciation brings the TGS crew no closer to figuring out what the title is.
Episodes: Season 1 Episode 13: “Up All Night”
The Russian, cheetah-print-clad hooker that Jack Donaghy meets on Valentine’s Day. She steals an egg roll from a deli and stuffs it in her purse. Best line: “Happy Valentimes!”
Episodes: Season 1 Episode 15: “Hard Ball”
A spokesperson for the Institute for American Confrontation Integrity who publicly criticizes Jenna and calls her “Jenna Moron-y” after an interview in Maxim misquotes her as saying that she hates the troops.
Episodes: Season 1 Episode 21: “Hiatus”
Liz’s doctor (what a frustrating job that must be). Take this exchange for instance:
Dr. Beauvoir: Still not eating right, huh?
Liz: No, but I am eating a lot.
Liz ends up crying during her appointment. Dr. Beauvoir’s name is possibly a nod to Simone de Beauvoir.
Episodes: Season 5 Episode 4: “Live Show” (East and West Coast Versions)
The elderly Eastern European cleaning lady with a bullet in her brain. She loves Happy Days. She and Liz share the same birthday, and everyone remembers Jadwiga’s birthday but not Liz’s.
The Voice of Not Kenneth
Episodes: Season 6 Episode 4: “The Ballad of Kenneth Parcell”
Not Kenneth is the machine NBC built to replace Kenneth Parcell and the NBC page program.
Madeline Raynor is a New York City-based writer. She writes for New York Magazine and BUST Magazine and has written for The Billfold, Death and Taxes, Mashable, Indiewire, The Frisky, and Time Out New York. She loves all things Tina Fey. Word to the wise: her first name is pronounced with a long “i,” like the red-haired girl from France.