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Q&A: Scott Adsit of '30 Rock'


The Chicago native on his lengthy history in the local comedy scene, his hopes for the final season of '30 Rock' and delivering Ranalli's pizza in the snow

June 08, 2012|By Kyle Kramer | RedEye

As far as 30 Rock, what should people expect for the last season? What would you like to see?
I'd like Pete to be satisfied in some way. Whether that be emotionally or work-related, sexually. I'd just like him, at the end of the day, to say “I feel good about myself.”

It seems like Pete has become a progressively more tragic character over the arc of 30 Rock.

How do you think that happened? What was the deal there?
[Laughs] You've got me! Maybe the writers have gotten to know me better. No, I think the longer a show's on the air the more – you've got to keep writing or be true to the characters, and either they grow or they don't. It's like –"M*A*S*H" was a great show, but it was on so long and it had such a spectrum of characters that they all grew and became better people and more three dimensional. Eventually they all essentially had the same point of view. They all kind of agreed on everything by the end. Other shows, the dumb people become incredibly dumb by the end; the lustful people become crazy for sex; the people who are lazy are lazy to the nth degree. I think the writers decided on a one or two-word description of Pete and just reinforced it.

What do you envision for yourself after 30 Rock ends?
Well I'll stay in New York and maybe get some plays. Otherwise, I'll just be looking for work.

When you left Chicago originally you moved to LA, right?
I left Chicago in like 1998 or '99, and I was in LA until "30 Rock." So seven or eight years. And was doing guest spots and small parts in movies and commercials – a lot of commercials.

What commercials did you do out in LA?
I did one where I was – a Honda commercial – where I was a man who was raised by wolves. That ran for a long time. Then I did one [laughs] for United Airlines about the check-in kiosks, you know the things you can go and check in by yourself now? They were just rolling those out. And it was about it being a quicker, easier pace at the airport, where you just don't have to worry about anything. And it came out the day before – I think September 10, it premiered. 2001. And so they immediately removed that commercial. That shouldn't help me. I did a Washington Mutual commercial. It was a series of three, but mine stood out because it won the Silver Lion at the Cannes Film Festival. Which I didn't know they had a commercial award. But here's another thing: This Washington Mutual ad was about easy home loans and [how] nothing bothers me. So I get the wrong tooth drilled, and I get a boot on my car, and I get a bowling ball in the nuts, and I laugh it all off because I've got a great home loan – easy home loan. And then, of course, that destroyed America.

You pretty much single-handedly caused the recession, it sounds like.
I got out of doing commercials for the sake of the country.

No pizza commercials out there, though?
Ha, no I did a Pizza Hut commercial.

Do you have any Chicago shoutouts or places you really love in Chicago?
I'm looking forward to eating at Penny's Noodles under the train tracks. And maybe getting some, well, I don't know – Balducci's maybe!

Kyle Kramer is a RedEye special contributor.

Just for Laughs Festival - Scott Adsit and Jet Eveleth
Where: iO
When: June 15, midnight
Tickets: $15,

Just for Laughs Festival - Scott Adsit, John Glaser, Kevin Dorff, TJ Jagodowski, & Dave Pasquesi
Where: iO
When: June 13-14, 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. (SOLD OUT)
Tickets: $20,

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