9 Things You Didn’t Know About 30 Rock’s Jack McBrayer

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9 Things You Didn’t Know About 30 Rock’s Jack McBrayer

If one thing is for sure, it’s that character actors are as important as lead stars on television. Jack McBrayer is one of the most recent examples of this. They bring spice to many shows, and their performances are sometimes more memorable than those of the title characters.

His breakout role in 30 Rock brought him into the spotlight over the 8 years the show aired. However, beyond his work at 30 Rock, McBrayer has had an interesting life and career. Here are 10 things you didn’t know about him.

1. Jack McBrayer Was Raised In The South

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As mentioned earlier, 30 Rock launched McBrayer to stardom. On the show, he played Kenneth Parcell, an enthusiastic page working for NBC. It’s not surprising that Parcell is a Southerner with many character quirks from his upbringing. For the most part, a handful of McBrayer’s early characters are based on Southern stereotypes. That’s no mistake seeing as McBrayer himself was raised in the South.

2. His Lung Collapsed When He Was 18 Years Old

When McBrayer was fresh out of college, tragedy struck, and one of his lungs collapsed. At the time, he was 18 years old. In fact, he confesses that it’s a miracle he survived and that it felt like having a heart attack.

3. McBrayer Has Appeared In Over 80 Late Night With Conan O’Brien Sketches

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One of McBrayer’s first television appearances was on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, where he often played a dim-witted Southerner. After that, he went on to appear in more than 80 sketches between 2002 and 2004. For the most part, the show gave him the recognition he needed to move to the next level. Case point, appearing on the show also helped him land a role in 30 Rock.

4.  He’s A Talented Voice Actor

Besides live-action projects, McBrayer has voiced many characters in his career. For instance, he’s not played just one, but several roles in the animated sitcom Bob’s Burgers. More recently, he also did some voice work in Disney Junior’s Eureka! Hands down, his most famous role so far has been as Felix in Wreck-It Ralph! both in the original film and in the sequel.

5. Jack McBrayer Has Also voiced Video Games

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McBrayer’s voice-acting prowess isn’t just limited to animated projects, the star also works on video games. After voicing Fix-It Felix Jr. in Wreck-It Ralph, he also voiced the video game adaptation back in 2012. More recently, he played Amal in EA’s abandoned third-person shooter Anthem.

6. 30 Rock Shot Him Into Stardom

Every successful has that one production that tipped the scales in their favor. For Jack McBrayer, that show is 30 Rock. As mentioned earlier, he played Kenneth Parcell, and his performance made him one of the most memorable on the show.

In fact, when the show kicked off, he was only supposed to be a supporting character. But once the producers saw his potential, they made him a regular cast member. The cherry on top is that he was nominated a whopping seven times for the Screen Actors Guild Award. Out of the seven, he won one and was also nominated for an Emmy.

7. The Star Appeared On Netflix’s Nailed It!

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As expected, since his role on 30 Rock, the roles came tumbling in. In fact, in 2021, McBrayer was a contestant in Season 6 of Netflix’s Nailed It!, hosted by Nicole Bryer. The episode featured paranormal sweet treats and tons of humor brought on by Jack McBrayer, Thara Kunawongse, and Mckenzie Goodwin.

8. Jack McBrayer Has Been In A Popular Music Video

He’s not just an actor, voice actor, and reality TV star, McBrayer is kind of a video vixen. In 2008, he received a call to appear in Mariah Carey‘s music video, Touch My Body. At first, he thought it was a prank, but after confirming it was really happening, he jumped on the offer. In the video, he played a computer technician that receives a call to the superstar’s mansion. He brought his signature goofiness and humor to the role, which further cemented his place in popular culture.

9. Parcell’s Part In 30 Rock Was Written Specifically For Him

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Before appearing on TV, McBrayer moved to Chicago, where he worked in Theater for a while. There, he was part of the “e.t.c.” company at The Second City. Soon after, he co-wrote and performed a series of productions, including Courage, History Repaints Itself, and Yellow Cab. To crown it all, that led McBrayer to Tina Fey — one of 30 Rock‘s creators. They would then go and write the character of Kenneth Parcell with McBrayer in mind.

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