Life is pretty good these days for Alec Baldwin. The 54-year-old actor married 28-year-old Hilaria Thomas, a yoga instructor (of course) in June. In September, he reprised his role as Jack Donaghy for the final season of 30 Rock, a TV show that’s won him so many awards, it’s almost made up for The Cat in the Hat. And after dropping more than 30 pounds by eliminating sugar from his diet (including sweets and alcohol), he’s certainly healthier.
There’s just one problem – Baldwin lite is also 30 pounds less funny. Jack Donaghy is a man of excess. He sips scotch all day and pines for New York’s most expensive dessert: “Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream in a pool of cognac, drizzled in the world’s most expensive chocolate, Amadei Porcelana, covered with shaved white, black, and clear truffles, topped with edible 25-carat gold leaf.”
To be believable as a man of excess, you have to look like you’ve been dipping into the pudding. When Baldwin’s fat-cat Canali three-piece strained to close at the waist, it worked. But skinny Alec, swimming in his finery and skittering around the set with a much younger-man’s energy, is left delivering once-great one-liners with less heft. In season 2, Jack said of Jane Krakowski’s character, Jenna Maroney: “She needs to lose 30 pounds or gain 60. Anything in between has no place in television.” Skinny Alec still has his place, but the scales aren’t tipping in his favour.