“When [Tina] got [at SNL] she was kind of goofy-looking, but everyone had a crush on her because she was so funny and bitingly mean. How did she go from ugly duckling into swan? It’s the Leni Riefenstahl in her. She has such a German work ethic even though she’s half Greek. It’s superhuman, the German thing of ‘This will happen and I am going to make this happen.’ It’s just sheer force of will.” - Steve Higgins.
When TV shows are filmed in New York, the creators of the show will often say things like, “New York is really another character in our show.” Or, “New York is like the fifth Sex and the City girl!” Or, “New York is the real murderous pervert on SVU.”
While New York City is a character on 30 Rock, our real wacky-neighbor-who-gets-entrance-applause of a recurring character is the show’s distinctive music. Composed and recorded in a closet next to my kitchen, Jeff Richmond’s theme music and score have given 30 Rock a unique feel.
With a retro sound inspired by the poor health and 1950s racial attitudes of our actors, Jeff has created a soundtrack that far surpasses the cheesy guitar stings of most sitcoms.
Jeff started the comedy part of his career as a piano accompanist at the ImprovOlympic Theatre in Chicago. I remember he had an amazing gift for scoring improvised comedy. He could actually guide inexperienced performers through a scene, helping them know what scenes and jokes to return to by bringing back the piano motif he had played earlier. Jeff continues to be able to use his music to highlight a story’s themes, fill moments with emotion, fix jokes, and make his wife almost appear to be acting.
He is a tender yet arrogant lover.