February 02, 2012 4:29pm PT by Michael O'Connell
'30 Rock' Addition Kristen Schaal Describes the Surreal Pleasure of Working for Tina Fey
On Feb. 2, 30 Rock welcomes recurring guest Kristen Schaal.
The 34-year-old actress and comedian, best known playing the obsessive Mel in HBO's Flight of the Conchords and for voicing Louise in Bob's Burgers, comes to the comedy as a bit of a super-fan, something she recently tried to explain to The Hollywood Reporter.
"What's your favorite show of all time?" she asked, to some hemming and hawing. "Let's say you said Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and one day you got cast for a small arc on that show after watching it for five years. Then you're on the show, you're on the set, saying your lines and Sarah Michelle Gellar just comes up to you as Buffy. And you're like, 'Holy f---ing cow. I'm on my favorite show.' That's how it was."
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Schaal plays Hazel Whatshername, a rival page to TGS' Kenneth (Jack McBrayer), which she insists is a "tiny part" despite NBC promos touting her as an addition to the cast.
"I have a habit of downplaying everything," she told THR. "Which is good. For all I know, they edit it down to just Jack and I'm just saying lines off camera."
One thing she does not downplay is how fond she is of the show's creator and star, Tina Fey.
"I'm trying to be very cool," she said. "I try to not fan out and not be a super geek around her -- but for the first day or so, I was talking really loud because I was so nervous."
The halls of TGS seem particularly hospitable to recurring characters, rarely sending anyone away for good. So while Schaal does not know the fate of Hazel Whatshername, she does see an open-ended future with the series.
"I know everybody's name on that show, all the way down to catering," she said. "I am so f---ing thrilled to be there. I even come in early. I can't believe I'm on the show."