5. Kenneth Parcell (Jack McBrayer)

While he often serves as a foil to set up other jokes, Kenneth the page’s naiveté and chinlessness spark endless comedy on the show. He might be a little repetitive, sure, but he's also got the highest laughs-to-screentime ratio of anyone out there. And a consistently hilarious, oft-mentioned family back home in Georgia that makes us happy to live up North. 

 

4. Leo Spaceman (Chris Parnell) 

Jack Donaghy: Couldn't you just inject something right into his heart?
Dr. Spaceman: I'd love to, but we have no way of knowing where the heart is. See, every human is different.

Dr. Spaceman is a prescriber of questionable medication, a child psychiatrist, a meth addictionologist, and a fertility specialist (though he cannot, personally, help you conceive. Scuba-diving accident.) Leo Spaceman is undeniably the show's best non-credited role. And it's pronounced "SPA-chemen," idiot. 

 

3. Tracy Jordan

As with any truly great comic, sometimes Tracy Jordan's bizarre pronunciation alone is enough to make any phrase funny. If you don’t believe me, try saying, “Our basketball hoop was a ribcage. A ribcage!” and see how many laughs you get.

 

2. Jack Donaghy

Not naming Jack Donaghy as number one almost tore the Nerve office apart, but in the end, he lost by a hair. Specifically, one of the hairs on a mole on Liz Lemon’s leg that Jack prompted her to have removed. His charm, his chemistry with Liz, his perfect hair alone would make him hard to beat — but it’s his near-regal business-executive demeanor coupled with the sheer absurdity of his lines that really knocks us on our asses. And MILF Island was his idea.

 

1. Liz Lemon

Liz Lemon is the hard-working, relationship-troubled, junk-food eating character that we've all been waiting to see a woman play. And Tina Fey does it delightfully. Who else could make up so many hilarious songs about food? While Jack Donaghy’s suave, uppity one-offs may provide laughs, it’s Liz Lemon’s bumbling, good-hearted antics that earn her the top spot in this 30 Rock hall of fame. Suck it, nerds!

Tags 30 Rock

Commentarium (85 Comments)

Jan 12 11 - 10:09am
Wait, really?

Jenna didn't make top 5? That is bold, my friends, very bold. But I like it.

Jan 12 11 - 11:12am
hrm

Jenna is amazing! The actress is amazing, the delivery is amazing, the lines are amazing. Come on! Tracy Jordan can be great, but Jenna is just...unparalleled.

Jan 12 11 - 11:37am
PeterSmith

Jenna? Is that you?

Jan 12 11 - 11:39am
JRX

I personally think that although Tracy Jordan is a comedian by profession, his timing and presence is quite unsuited for the show. He takes from the subtly of other characters. I would be the first to howl with orgasmic-joy in seeing him go.

Jan 12 11 - 12:03pm
Mmhmm

I love Dr. Spaceman, and I agree with Pete's placement.

Jan 12 11 - 1:05pm
FT

I think Matt Damon as Carol should be much higher ranked - the first episode with him in it had me in tears.

Jan 12 11 - 2:22pm
MLH

In #7, Liz's false pregnancy scare was caused by the evaporated bull semen in Liz's Sabor de Soledad, not by Cheesy Blasters. Sheesh.

Jan 12 11 - 4:24pm
Dan

Lutz is dead last. I don't think he's ever made me laugh. Otherwise - pretty accurate list.

Jan 12 11 - 4:37pm
Lee Harvey

Tracy is the least funny character in TV history.

Aug 16 12 - 10:10pm
Lee Harvey OSwald

this guy doesn't comedy

Jan 12 11 - 4:44pm
bstarks

Toofer is terrible. Damon is hilarious. Switch them and you're getting closer

Jan 12 11 - 5:05pm
Vinegar Bend

I would have placed Julianne Moore a lot higher.

Feb 19 12 - 12:09pm
Marty

I would have placed Julianne Moore a lot lower!

Jan 12 11 - 5:19pm
A-Cake

Would've liked to see Kenneth make a dark horse run into the top 3.

Jan 12 11 - 5:35pm
justinwh

Elaine Stritch is the best. I never get tired of re-watching the Colleen episodes.

Jan 12 11 - 5:43pm
IHateKenneth!

Obviously, i think Kenneth is the least funniest, most ingratiating, and nauseating, teeth grindingly awful character in TV history! He makes no sense on this show, every scene hes in drags and adds nothing to the episode, and hes the reason i finally gave up on this program after 4 patient years!

Jan 12 11 - 6:37pm
Me

I've never found Frank very funny, and I would Pete a little higher on the list. Jack totally should've been number one.

Aug 19 12 - 11:38am
Phil

Agreed on all points: except Pete should be way higher. He's hilarious.

Jan 12 11 - 6:42pm
Kara

I really do not agree with most of this list. Toofer is painfully unfunny. He should be last for sure. And Don Giess is really terribly funny. The real problem is that the show is no longer funny, which means that Liz should be nearer to the end. : (

Jan 12 11 - 7:03pm
Diana

Tracy for #1! I laugh at nearly everything he says.

Jan 12 11 - 7:44pm
Kenneth

Big controversy over Kenneth. It seems like everyone either thinks he's hilarious or retarded. I, for one, think he's hilarious.

Jan 12 11 - 8:11pm
Mariah

Personally, I would have thought Pete would have been much higher up.
And Dennis, I don't know.
Also, I think Kenneth would much better fit Leo's place. But then, seeing as a lot of people hate him, I guess that's fair if you're going by everyone's opinions.

Jan 12 11 - 8:23pm
David

Alec Baldwin is a national treasure. All due respect for Liz/Tina, but this isn't even close.

Jan 12 11 - 8:26pm
csp

What about Phoebe? "Careful, my bones!"

Jan 12 11 - 8:32pm
SammySam

HORNBERGER!!!!!!!!

(should switch with Lutz)

Jan 12 11 - 9:00pm
DeeDee

There is nothing funny about Tracy Morgan, he ruins the show

Jan 12 11 - 9:16pm
Good

Glad to see Spaceman so high on the list. Everything he says is gold.

Jan 12 11 - 9:17pm
Nick

That Jenna isn't in the top 2 is a crime. They give Jane the most ridiculous, horrible things to say and she crushes it every time. I love me some Tina Fey but Jane's delivery and timing is unsurpassed. Also Dot Com should be higher, probably in the 10-12 range. Kevin Brown came out of nowhere and is absolutely awesome every time he gets some actual story. And finally, we have Lutz. I want to put Lutz in the top five because every time he's on screen I'm usually spraying liquid through my nose (the black light dance scene comes immediately to mind) but you can't have a tertiary character be that high. John Lutz (the actor) delivers, though.

Feb 19 12 - 12:12pm
Frankie K. & Mary S.

TOTALLY AGREE!!! Jenna is the funniest thing on that show! I would have made her number 1!!!

Jan 12 11 - 9:18pm
Who?

I think Tracy Jr. deserves a top 10 spot. Sure his scenes have been minimal, but he nails them like bam.

Jan 12 11 - 9:25pm
pasha

@DeeDee: you racist bastard.

Jan 12 11 - 9:38pm
Dirk

Correction: Juliette Moore's Boston accent is TERRIBLE.

Jan 12 11 - 10:01pm
Team Jenna

Admit it, has anything been as amazingly hysterical as the first time you saw Jenna sing Muffin Top? (Well, besides Jack not knowing how to move his arms when he walks on-camera.)

Jan 12 11 - 10:03pm
Ed

Julianne Moore's "Boston" accent is truly atrocious.

Feb 19 12 - 12:48pm
Vince

I can't bare to hear Juliette Moore yapping away with that NOT FUNNY accent. I can't believe the producers, directors or SOMEBODY didn't stop her on day one. I hope she never returns.

Jan 12 11 - 10:03pm
aaa

It's so terrible that it's hilarious.

Jan 12 11 - 10:04pm
ohgodyoudevil

It's pronounced spa-CHE-men, idiot.

Jan 12 11 - 10:09pm
jACK

Pete is wonderful. Move him up!

Jan 12 11 - 10:58pm
TJN

Great list but Jack is # 1 and Julianne Moore deserved a much higher ranking.

Jan 12 11 - 11:28pm
ricky

fey needs to get docked a few points for too much self depreciating jokes. everyone, her included, knows she's hot. lack of self awareness is not funny

Jan 13 11 - 12:21am
concered

Yeah, definitely a personal list of top 30 cause you and I (im sure many would agree) disagree on SO many characters. Next time, keep it to yourself with such a beloved and cherished show, this was a waste of my time.

Jan 13 11 - 12:37am
SDJ

The guy who played the junior agent, formerly an animal agent sticks out in my mind, but then again, I don't watch this that often

Jan 13 11 - 12:39am
lisa

you know that wasn't actually lonny ross (josh) doing those impressions of tracy and jack, right? whatever, this list blows anyway. i hope they didn't actually pay you to write this.

Jan 13 11 - 12:49am
MW

Um...in any ranking of funny people, Judah Friedlander should always come in last. Dead last. The man actually sucks the comedy out of a room.

Jan 13 11 - 1:32am
LICK THE CARPET

I think Tina Fey's a good writer, but her character's not that funny. I didn't read the whole list, is Will Arnett's character on there, Devin Banks I think? I think he's the funniest person on the show when he's on.

Jan 13 11 - 1:54am
hatersgonnahate

I can't believe there are so many Tracy haters! You could just take every line of his from the show, put it in one giant episode, and I would watch it. In tears. Tears of joy. From laughing. "Fat neck girl let me count your neck rings."

Jan 13 11 - 2:21am
what?!?

It actually physically enrages me that someone made this list.

Jan 13 11 - 4:08am
hma

If you think Julianne Moore's Boston accent is good, you're either tone-deaf or have never been to Boston. And Matt Damon is better at comedy than anyone on this list except Alec Baldwin.

Jan 13 11 - 4:17am
Technologyiscyclical

"Technology is cyclical." Dennis should be much higher!

Jan 13 11 - 4:37am
Bridget

Tracy is hilarious juxtaposed with Griz and Dot Com, great non sequiturs.

Jan 13 11 - 9:41am
K

So, the list says: from Funniest to least funny
then why does it start at the least funny, lol?

Jan 13 11 - 10:03am
Alritie

I think this is an alriiggt this but it baffles me that Jack isn't at the top?!? Tinanfey has her odd funny moment but honestly Jack has never said something that I don't find hilarious and Jenna? Seriously? Hop 5 at least!

Jan 13 11 - 10:23am
A-sharp

I've never seen Tracy Jordan as funny. Maybe I'm missing something here, but I just don't get it.

Jan 13 11 - 2:37pm
mick666

Where the hell is Rachel Dratch?

Jan 13 11 - 3:41pm
Jack Package

Drew Baird should be higher and where are Betty White as herself (I'll bury you, Tracy) and of course Bitch Hunter.

Jan 13 11 - 6:02pm
Natascha

ummm. jonathan is singing "without you". i know, *really* difficult to figure out. seriously. DOES nerve have any copy-editors? cuz i'd totally take that job.

Jan 13 11 - 7:09pm
MeatMachine

Danny should be 30, worst character ever. Cerie's Italian Senator Halloween costume is funnier than anything Danny's ever done.

Jan 13 11 - 7:35pm
markydefad

I can't believe that Emily Mortimer's "Phoebe" is not on that list---as I read it from the bottom up I expected to find her in the Top 10--but she's nowhere to be found.

Jan 13 11 - 8:10pm
duffecho

Loved Liz's (junior) agent, Simon. "I've seen some bras."

Jan 13 11 - 8:48pm
r3hcook

Very happy Dr. Spacemen is in the top 5. I love him.

Jan 13 11 - 9:39pm
aaa

Drop the mimosas, bitch!

Jan 13 11 - 10:00pm
b0nni3

1. floyd and drew should have different clips!! come on now, that's just phoning it in...

2. toofer scored better than julianne moore? really? when she was still married and trying to sell her house she had some amazing lines...the accent only made them more rediculously funny...

3. there are easily more than 20 clips of the interaction, usually over the phone, between carrol and liz that are too silly for words...like when he thinks they're going to crash and he wants her to hide the porn...

4. more people would understand why tracy is so high on the list if a better clip was shown...like when he's recalling his childhood...seeing a baby give another baby a tattoo, they were very drunk!

5. jonathan is singing the harry nilson classic "I can't live (if livin is without you)" which sounds NOTHING like "I will remember you...

6. great placement for devon, but how can you NOT show him pouring the juice down kenneth's throat? that was some of the best physical comedy I've ever seen...

7. dennis = HEY DUMMY.

Jan 14 11 - 2:32am
Forkfiend

I am a bit disappointed that MoonVest wasn't shown!!

GIMME YA FINGANAILS!!!

Jan 14 11 - 2:46am
em1055

Pete is way funnier than 30! Him and Devon (Will Arnet) should switch places.

Jan 14 11 - 1:51pm
RobinG

I might have put Tracy a little further down, a lot of the time I just find him irritating.

Jan 14 11 - 2:48pm
pfft

pete is waaay funnier than #30

Jan 21 11 - 2:45pm
Kboe

Jonathan definitely sings "I Will Remember You" by Sarah McLachlan. Just watched the episode. His exact words are "I will remember you, will you remember me, don't let your life, pass you by..."

Jan 28 11 - 2:52pm
He's already here

Gavin Valoure! Everybody wants to be Gavin Valoure! Steve Martin on the run from the law may be one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

Feb 02 11 - 4:28pm
Reading is nice

Folks, regardless of whether or not you agree with the exact ranking of the characters on this list, I think it's pretty disconcerting that half the comments posted here are pointless IF YOU READ THE ARTICLE. Cases in point: The author gave us a caveat that any character NOT APPEARING ON MORE THAN ONE EPISODE wasn't considered for the list. So yeah, Steve Martin was awesome. He was also only on one episode, ergo he was not considered for the list. Ditto Liz's junior agent Simon; ditto Moonvest.

30 Rock is such a literate show. How did it capture the attention of so many non-readers?

Feb 16 11 - 10:17pm
Meg

So glad Jenna was lower on the list. She is the reason I almost quit watching. Now I just fast forward her on my dvr.

Mar 13 11 - 12:52pm
ben

Jack should be number 1, not only is he the funniest on the show he's the only character on the show thats funny.

Mar 27 11 - 9:24pm
TraverseTown

How are Bianca and Verna who have appeared TWICE on the show on this list and Sue Laroche Van-Der Hoot isn't!?

Jul 21 11 - 11:19pm
Yamary

No complaints on this end, spimly a good piece.

Jul 22 11 - 4:22am
Jenibelle

Grade A stuff. I'm uqneutsionably in your debt.

Jul 23 11 - 12:54pm
Darrance

Wodnreful explanation of facts available here.

Aug 14 11 - 8:10pm
Mike D

Tracy Junior was hilarious...I'm just a kid; I shouldn't have to listen to that!

Aug 24 11 - 4:21pm
Steven

Jonathan sings both...in separate times so stop fighting about that.
IMO...Jenna needs to move up but this is pretty spot on.

Oct 01 11 - 1:45am
oracle

tracy is just awful

Oct 10 11 - 3:49am
jo

why isnt jonathan top 10? tracy should not be top 5. why isn't sherrie shepard (sp?) on here? Maybe i missed her. and where is rachel dratch? ken and jenna should be top 2.

boo this list.

Jan 15 12 - 1:21pm
Blaze

WHAT? I can't believe that Tracy Jordan is so far up and Pete Hornburger is so far back! I'd move Pete into the top 10, and Tracy Jordan would be near last. He has rarely made me laugh. Also, Spaceman would be number one and Kenneth at number two. As for the rest, I mostly agree.

Jan 17 12 - 1:07am
Andrea

Pete should be in the top 5. Adsit is a skilled comedian.

Apr 14 12 - 1:09pm
Julia

This is a terrible list. Of course this is all subjective. Griz and Dot Com should be in the top 5. Hornberger should be in the top ten, and Kenneth should be in the top three. Jenna and Tracy are the least funny things about the show.

Jun 05 12 - 11:35am
D

Mm... interesting. I cannot stand Dennis or Dr. Spacemen, and I think Carol and... someone else (I am too lazy to go back through the list again) should be higher up on the list.

Jul 27 12 - 12:00pm
s

two words.

warewolf barmitzvah.

Sep 04 12 - 4:54pm
Nic

Spooky scarey. Hac! Love it! Jack's "girlfriends" shouldn't have placed. Everyone else is hilarious! Liz #1 absolutely.