30 Rock is one of the best shows in the history of television. One of the reasons it was so amazing was the cast, led by the supremely talented creator Tina Fey. She costarred with the inimitable Alec Baldwin, comedy legend Tracy Morgan, and the gifted Jane Krakowski. Everyone in the supporting cast was hilarious and each of them contributed to the well-oiled machine that was 30 Rock.
After the show ended in 2013, Fey continued her hot streak, returning to TV with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Alec Baldwin is still one of the best actors working today. Jane Krakowski landed a plum role in Kimmy Schmidt. And Tracy Morgan continues to be a staple of the comedy world. But strangely enough, many of the ensemble cast members had trouble booking projects that were as good as 30 Rock. Some even essentially dropped off the map.
Tina Fey has a history of bringing actors from 30 Rock onto Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, including Tituss Burgess. She also brought back some of the Tina Fey Network of Actors for her new show Great News, which she executive produces.
Let's see what the cast is doing now, four years after the show's finale. This is Where Are They Now? The Cast Of 30 Rock.
Tituss Burgess caught Tina Fey's attention with a scene-stealing small part on 30 Rock as D'Fwan. She wrote the leading role of Titus (note that the name is almost exactly the same) with Burgess in mind, but he still had to audition. He became a breakout star on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Before 30 Rock, Burgess had made a name for himself in the New York theater scene, most notably originating the role of Sebastian in Broadway's The Little Mermaid. He continues to be a staple of the Broadway world, performing at Elsie Fest and other theater events.
As for his other onscreen roles, the most prominent has been voicing Vanity Smurf in Smurfs: The Lost Village and Photog in The Angry Birds Movie. He also has the Broadway-aimed stage adaptation of The Preacher's Wife on his plate, for which he wrote the score.
In June 2014, Tracy Morgan was suffered a brain injury from a major car crash. Thankfully, he recovered, made an emotional return to Saturday Night Live as host in October 2015. In the years after 30 Rock ended in 2013, Morgan snagged a series of roles in comedy movies including The Boxtrolls, Top Five, The Night Before, and Fist Fight. He also has roles in the upcoming films The Star and Tag.
In October 2016, it was announced that Morgan would star in a TV show from Key and Peele's Jordan Peele, which received a straight-to-series order from TBS and will premiere in 2017. The yet untitled series follows Morgan's character Tracy who, after being released from prison after 15 years, must grapple with how different the world has become.
After 30 Rock, Jack McBrayer had his own series, The Jack and Triumph Show, which paired him with Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog. Triumph is a puppet, voiced by Robert Smigel, who made his debut in 1997 on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Jack and Triumph ended after seven episodes.
McBrayer put his high, cheery voice to work in animated films and shows, starring in Wreck-It Ralph and appearing in Smurfs: The Lost Village, and the Disney children's show Jake and the Never Land Pirates. He also continued to appear on Phineas and Ferb, which he snagged a recurring role on back in 2008.
McBrayer also appeared in an endless list of comedy films and shows including The Middle, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, Bob's Burgers, The To Do List, Key and Peele, They Came Together, and New Girl.
In 2014, Scott Adsit landed a starring role as the voice of Baymax in Big Hero 6. Other than that, he has continued working consistently as a character actor. Most recently, he had a guest role on Girlboss, playing a different character from the harmless loser he played on 30 Rock. He appears as Chuck, the histrionic director of a Wichita theater group. Mad with power, he strings Sophia's mom Kathleen along with the promise of the role of Anna in The King and I, only to give it to a younger woman in the end ("Anna can't be 50," he jeers).
He had a small role in Desiree Akhavan's indie Appropriate Behavior. Tina Fey brought him onto Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt for a blink-and-you'll-miss-it part as the voice of a snake in Kimmy's Disney-esque subconscious. He's also guested on Veep, W/ Bob and David, and Inside Amy Schumer.
In 2015, standup comedian and actor Judah Friedlander published his second book, If the Raindrops United: Drawings and Cartoons, and went on a standup tour to promote the book. He frequently performs standup in New York City. He had a recurring role on the adult animated TV series Bordertown (2016) with Hank Azaria, Alex Borstein, and Missi Pyle. It was cancelled after one season.
He's also popped up in comedy films and TV shows including Childrens Hospital, Fresh Off the Boat, 2015's Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp (as Molly Shannon's character's husband), The Jim Gaffigan Show, and Bob's Burgers. He also landed a bit part in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as well as a role in Sharknado 2: The Second One.
After 30 Rock, Alec Baldwin continued his illustrious acting career. He currently plays Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, and also hosted in 2017. He starred in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine alongside Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins, and costarred with Julianne Moore in Still Alice, the 2014 drama about Alzheimer's Disease. He was in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation and is to reprise his role in the upcoming M:I 6 - Mission Impossible. He can also be seen in Warren Beatty's period piece Rules Don't Apply.
In 2017, he starred in the animated film The Boss Baby, lending his deep, gravely voice to the role of an infant businessman. In April 2017, he published his much-anticipated memoir, Nevertheless. On November 7, 2017, he will release a book written as Donald Trump with the whopper of a title You Can't Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump.
Tina Fey gave Jane Krakowski, the former Jenna Maroney, a starring role on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: she plays rich New York mom Jacqueline Voorhees. She was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress for the role. In 2016, she returned to her Broadway roots to play the role of Ilona in the classic musical She Loves Me by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, for which she received a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actress.
She's also had several TV guest roles on the shows American Dad!, The Simpsons, Younger, and Modern Family. She acted in the film Adult Beginners (2014), which featured a stacked cast of comedians including Rose Byrne, Nick Kroll, Joel McHale, Mike Birbiglia, Bobby Moynihan, and Jason Mantzoukas. She was also in the Adam Sandler-led Pixels (2015).
Keith Powell, who played Harvard nerd Toofer, dropped off the map after 30 Rock ended in 2013. He continued to do film and TV work, but none of his projects were as memorable as the NBC show. He returned to NBC in a recurring role on the short-lived TV adaptation of About a Boy, starring Minnie Driver. He played Richard, Will's (David Walton) workaholic friend. The show was cancelled after two seasons, and the final episodes were released digitally on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.
In 2014, he had a small two-episode role on a show that, like 30 Rock, chronicled working in the media: Aaron Sorkin's broadcast journalism drama The Newsroom. His character was Wyatt Geary, the Vice President of Human Resources at Atlantis Cable News.
Katrina Bowden is another supporting player who disappeared post-30 Rock. In 2013, she appeared in the Ashley Tisdale-led Scary Movie 5, which was panned by critics and has a Metacritic score of 11. That same year, she acted in Panic! At the Disco's "Miss Jackson" music video.
In 2015, she was in the crime drama series Public Morals, which only lasted one season, although it received positive reviews from critics. She's set to star in the promising-sounding film Senior Moment alongside veteran actors William Shatner, Christopher Lloyd, and Jean Smart. In this romantic comedy, Shatner plays a retired Top Gun Navy pilot and former aircraft tester for NASA who is labeled a dangerous senior driver and has his license revoked by the DMV. The film is currently in pre-production.
In Tiny Fey's memoir Bossypants, she answers frequently asked questions about 30 Rock, and to the query, "Where did you find Grizz and Dot Com?" she replies, "Grizz and Dot Com were born adorable and fully clothed and found nestled in a field. They were the inspiration for the Cabbage Patch dolls and the Cabbage Patch Dance." This may be a jest about the fact that the actors who played Grizz and Dot Com seemed to only really exist on 30 Rock and didn't do much else besides it. Before and after the series, both have done acting work, but nothing very high profile.
Brown was the only 30 Rock cast member to appear in Sarah Palin's terrible 30 Rock sketch "31 Rock", an attempt to hit back at Tina Fey's performance as Palin on SNL. Chapman and Brown will perhaps always be mysteriously known as "those actors who played Grizz and Dot Com on 30 Rock and did nothing else" unless either actor gets cast in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt any time soon.
Aside from 30 Rock, Dean Winters is best known as Brian Cassidy from Law and Order: SVU, a role he played from 1999-2014. Tina Fey brought him onto Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt for a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo as the voice of Bunny on the TV show Bunny and Kitty.
From 2013 to 2015, he had a recurring role on Brooklyn Nine-Nine as The Vulture. He played Avi in the Keanu Reeves-led film John Wick (2014) and was in four episodes of the Sarah Jessica Parker show Divorce in 2016. He played a leading role on the cop drama Battle Creek (2015), which was cancelled by CBS after just one season. He also plays Mayhem in those hilarious Allstate commercials, which he continued to make after 30 Rock wrapped.
John Lutz had done pretty well for himself after 30 Rock, landing a job as a writer for Late Night with Seth Meyers. He also appears on the show as an actor. As for acting, he did voice work for Seth Meyers' animated show The Awesomes from 2014 until it was cancelled in 2015.
He reunited with Tina Fey in Sisters. He was also on American Dad! in the same episode as Jane Krakowski: season nine episode 21, "Roger Passes the Bar." He appeared in an episode of The Characters, starring comedians John Early (30 Rock, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp) and Kate Berlant.
Fun fact: he's married to Sue Galloway, who played TGS writer Sue on 30 Rock. He worked with her in Sisters and The Characters.
After 30 Rock, Maulik Pancholy made his Broadway debut in 2015 in the showbiz comedy It's Only a Play by Terrence McNally, replacing Rupert Grint. He costarred with F. Murray Abraham, Matthew Broderick, Martin Short and Stockard Channing. He also continued his recurring role as Baljeet Tjinder on Disney Channel's children's show Phineas and Ferb, which he played from 2008 until 2015. He starred as Sanjay in the Nickelodeon animated series Sanjay and Craig, which ran from 2013 to 2016.
He will play Dr. Nambue in the upcoming show Star Trek: Discovery, which premieres in 2017 on CBS All Access. Star Trek: Discovery was created by Bryan Fuller and Star Trek vet Alex Kurtzman and also stars Jason Isaacs, Rainn Wilson, and Anthony Rapp (Rent). He also appeared on a 2014 episode of The Good Wife.
Ross was mysterious phased off 30 Rock starting in season three. He showed up in just four episodes of the third season and two episodes of the fourth before disappearing completely. Amidst constant constant jokes about how forgettable he was as an actor, Josh quits TGS in season four episode one. Ross's last appearance on 30 Rock was in 2009 in season four episode four, "Audition Day", in which he auditions for the new slot on the show after admitting that his career took a hit after quitting. However, Liz hires Danny Baker (Cheyenne Jackson) as the new Josh.
In an ironic twist, Danny didn't last long on the show either. Ross has been working sporadically since 30 Rock, with small parts on Arrested Development and Adam Ruins Everything, but never again achieved the level of recognition he had on the NBC show.
Tina Fey has had great success since 30 Rock. In 2015, Fey brought us a spiritual follow-up to the show in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. She co-created the show with 30 Rock writer Robert Carlock and had a major role in season two as Andrea, Kimmy's therapist. The show has been highly successful and season three will premiere May 29, 2017.
She and Carlock also executive produce the new comedy series Great News, created by 30 Rock's Tracey Wigfield. It premiered in April 2017. As an actress, she lead the films Admission, Sisters (with Amy Poehler), and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. She also appeared in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Muppets Most Wanted, and This Is Where I Leave You.
Fey played herself in an episode of Difficult People, parodying the tendency for for every actor to become a director. She also hoste the Golden Globes with Amy Poehler for three years in a row.
Which of Tina Fey's post 30 Rock projects are your favorites? Which cast members do you think have been the most successful after the show? Sound off in the comments.