Fans react to ’30 Rock’ reunion special: “It’s like my heart is trying to hug my brain”

The one-off episode featured cameos from The Rock, Ted Danson, Mandy Moore, Andy Samberg, and many more

Fans have been reacting to a 30 Rock one-off reunion special, arriving seven years after the show’s final episode.

NBC’s critically-acclaimed comedy returned for an hour-long episode last night (July 16), featuring appearances from original cast members Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, and Jack McBrayer – US fans can watch it in full here.

Doubling as an “upfront event” for NBCUniversal’s 2020-21 television season, and as a way to promote the network’s new streaming service, Peacock, the cast were brought back together via Zoom calls and side plots with impressively high production values.


Last week, a teaser clip for the episode saw Liz Lemon (played by Fey) accosting a maskless man on the streets of New York. “We’re in an open-air system,” he argues, provoking Liz to rip off her mask to reveal another one beneath it featuring a print of a screaming mouth.

“Boom, another successful interaction with a man!” she declares as the man runs away.

In the special, Liz Lemon (played by Fey) is tasked with replacing a newly controversial Jenna  Maroney (Krakowski) for a potential TGS reunion, after she is “cancelled” for “pooping in Mandy Moore’s thermos.”

Liz interviews a number of NBCUniversal personalities to replace Jenna, including Sofia Vergara (NBC’s America’s Got Talent), Kandi Burruss (Bravo’s The Real Housewives Of Atlanta) and Khloe Kardashian (E!’s Keeping Up With The Kardashians).

Elsewhere in the special, we see that one-time page Kenneth (McBrayer) has now been made the head of NBC, while Jack Donaughy (Baldwin) is enjoying life in retirement, and Tracey Jordan (Morgan) is sitting pretty in Canada, raking in residual cash from selling his likeness for whatever CGI movie wants him.


The reunion saw cameos from a number of stars, including Ted Danson, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Mandy Moore, Andy Samberg, Andy Cohen, Hoda Kotb, and Mario Lopez.

Sharing an image of a laptop displaying the cast’s Zoom call, the official 30 Rock Twitter account tweeted, “This is better than Ludachristmas!” referencing the title of episode nine, season two.

Fans have taken to social media to react to the one-off episode, with one calling it “comedy at its finest. It has brought back all the feels! THANK YOU!”

“It’s like my heart is trying to hug my brain,” one fan said of the special, while another added: “IT WAS AWESOME. THANK YOU TINA FEY.”

A number of fans took the opportunity to share their appreciation for Jane Krakowski and her character Jenna Maroney. “This #30Rock reunion is just more proof that Jane Krakowski is a national treasure,” one fan wrote.

“I hope this 30 Rock special was just created so Jane Krakowski can rightfully get an Emmy,” said another.

A third wrote: “Best part of the #30Rock special has been seeing Jane Krakowski be Jenna again. She is a national treasure.”

Some fans were less impressed with the reunion, branding it “an hour long NBC commercial,” due to the numerous tie-ins with current or upcoming NBC shows.

“I thought the #30Rock special was going to be like the Parks & Rec special, but it’s just an infomercial for Peacock and their fall line up? Ugh,” one fan said.

Another wrote: “I was really excited for the #30Rock reunion but it was mostly just one big NBC/Universal/Peacock ad. Blerg!”

But not all fans were upset about NBC’s hybrid event. “I don’t care that the #30Rock special is basically just an hour long NBC commercial, my heart just feels full hearing the theme song on live TV and not hulu,” said one viewer.

“This #30Rock upfront hybrid event is 100,” added another.

See more reactions to the special below:

The 30 Rock special follows the reunion episode of fellow NBC sitcom Parks And Recreation, where Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman and company returned for a one-off episode with a brand new story.

Last month, four episodes of 30 Rock were pulled from streaming services at the request of creator Tina Fey due to their use of blackface.

The move comes as a wave of TV shows have been criticised for their racial insensitivity and been removed from the internet.