The TV Column: Nancy Pelosi to guest-star on ‘30 Rock’ series finale


“I’m flattered that they asked me to make a cameo in the series finale. I had a lot of fun,” House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said about her guest-starring role in “30 Rock.” (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
January 3, 2013

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will make her scripted TV series debut on the series finale of NBC’s “30 Rock.”

I know what you’re thinking: Delivering 172 Democratic votes to avert the fiscal cliff is easy; comedy is hard.

Pelosi’s debut can be seen when Tina Fey’s critically acclaimed comedy series wraps on Jan. 31, in a special one-hour episode at 8 p.m., after which NBC will unveil its new Jekyll/Hyde-is-(are?)-a-doctor drama, “Do No Harm.”

Presumably, Pelosi is playing herself in the swan-song episode. NBC would only confirm that she’s appearing in the finale — but then, “30 Rock” is notoriously tight-lipped about upcoming episode information.

Pelosi is an old pro at TV, having made many appearances over the years on the Sunday Beltway shows, the daytime talkers hosted by Ellen DeGeneres and Rachael Ray, and late-night shows starring Jimmy Fallon, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Jon Stewart and Charlie Rose. She even appeared on “The Colbert Report” with Stephen Colbert, whom the Dems had issues with for years, over his show’s Better Know A District franchise, in which politicians were generally made to look like lunkheads.

Pelosi even starred as a guest judge on “Top Chef” in August of 2010, during the Washington-set season of the reality series.

And FYI, you only think that Pelosi has been on “Saturday Night Live.” Maybe because she’s been impersonated many times over the years, by Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig — and once by Cameron Diaz, though with less success.

But, Pelosi told the TV Column in a statement, she decided the time was right to branch out, because, “I would do almost anything Tina Fey asks me to do.”

“I’m flattered that they asked me to make a cameo in the series finale. I had a lot of fun,” Pelosi added.

Lest you think she was short-changing her responsibilities as minority leader to learn her lines — or line (NBC wouldn’t say): While the country posed for pictures at the fiscal cliff, the episode was shot in early December; the series had its wrap party Dec. 20.

Politics and “30 Rock” go together like white on rice. This season alone, the comedy had a four-episode story line in which the gang at “TGS” followed the presidential election.

Pelosi joins the ranks of other politicians who have appeared on the much-awarded series — all playing themselves, BTW — including former VPOTUS Al Gore, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Pelosi and Fey have a history. In 2010, when Fey was in town to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center, then-House Speaker Pelosi secured space in the Capitol for the KenCen’s rehearsal dinner, and hosted the event.

More recently, Pelosi and “30 Rock” star Alec Baldwin were seen chatting at this year’s Kennedy Center Honors rehearsal dinner at the State Department — Baldwin having come, as did Fey, to pay tribute to “national treasure” (Fey’s words) David Letterman.

To read previous columns by Lisa de Moraes, go to washingtonpost.com/tvblog.

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