Alec Baldwin to Leave 30 Rock ... in 2012?

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Any fan of 30 Rock knows that removing Jack Donaghy from the fold would leave pretty much no show. Well, we had better brace ourselves for that prospect eventually. After nearly quitting after its first season, Alec Baldwin is again talking retirement.

The man who plays and utters so many awesome 30 Rock quotes as the incomparable Jack Donaghy is reportedly ready to pack it in, but not for three more seasons at least.

On his retirement after 30 Rock, the actor tells Playboy: “I'm done in 2012. In March 2012 I’ll wake up and say, ‘What am I going to do now? Am I done?’ I think I will be done. I may finish a play or something, but I'm retiring at the wrap party.”

Alec Baldwin Pic

He sounds fairly confident of this. Oh well. At the very least, that's six full seasons into 30 Rock at that stage, and if it hasn't jumped the shark by then, we will be truly lucky!

Follow the jump for more excerpts from Baldwin's Playboy interview ...

On the thought of committing suicide after the voicemail was leaked: “[I was] very serious … I spoke to a lot of professionals, who helped me … If I committed suicide, they [Kim Basinger’s team] would have considered that a victory. Destroying me was their avowed goal.”

On celebrity gossip site TMZ’s boss, Harvey Levin: “Everybody knows Levin is a human tumor, a graceless character who lives in that weird netherworld. I don’t blame those pathetic people; they are what they are.”

On running for office: “I’ll put it this way. The desire is there; that’s one component. The other component is opportunity … If I run for office, my goal is to recognize that government doesn’t need to have lower taxes, a smaller budget … Government needs to spend money more responsibly.”

On President Barack Obama’s approach to dealing with big corporations: “The reason I think I would want to run for office and be good at it is, the way all this should be done is overwhelmingly obvious to me. You want business, but you’ve got to stand up to business. This is the thing that excites me about Barack Obama: He gets that you’ll pay now or later. Tell that corporation to drop dead, get out of your state and move someplace where they need jobs so bad they’ll sell their souls for short-end money.”

On Twitter: “This society is very wired together, and it’s the most neurotic a society has ever been. Twitter, all this stuff, I don’t view as anything good. Everyone is so hyperaware of what everybody else is doing. Everybody has been convinced their opinion should count. We all need to be spouting opinions.”

On promoting his films: “Promotional activities for films and television shows have replaced talented marketing and publicity departments … They’ve relieved themselves of any responsibility by tying the marketing to the star’s name. They psychologically abuse talent by going, ‘Hey, if the movie bombs, it’s bad for you.’ They’ve psyched you into thinking you’ve got to run around the country for four weeks, telling the same anecdotes over and over until you want to drop dead. You miss your child’s volleyball game because if the movie doesn’t do well, it reflects on you. They’ve conspired to wash their hands of any responsibility.”

On Lindsay Lohan and the nightly celebrity TV shows: “I would be so happy if those shows went off the air. It is a huge problem in our business - this microcosmic analysis and elevation of people who are just witless and talentless, or people with talent, like Lindsay Lohan, who struggle. Who gives a shit about their personal trivialities? Its hurts the business.”

On why he will never go back on the Today show: “I'm on an NBC show, and Today was considered vital. But when that voice-mail tape thing happened, Matt Lauer interviewed [Harvey] Levin before he even called me. Lauer put Levin on Today, and they never phoned me. When it’s in their interest to reach me, they know how. I saw that and said, ‘My relationship with the Today show is over.’ I’ll never do Today again, ever. Life’s too short.”

On why he trusted The View after the voicemail was leaked: “Whoopi Goldberg is a friend. I called her and said, ‘Do you think I can get a fair shake?’ Because when you talk about family law and parental alienation, there is this unfortunate gender-based dynamic. Could I walk into a show with a strong female audience? Would they understand my point of view? I trusted Whoopi and Barbara Walters. Whoopi is an impeccably decent person, and I am grateful she gave me a forum.”

On his fantasy of a private life: “I have this silly fantasy. I get married again, I have a kid. I’d love another shot at that, with everything I’ve learned. My kid’s like eight, comes home and says, ‘Dad, Jimmy’s mom says you were a famous actor on TV and in the movies. Is that true?’ And I go, “Yes, Johnny, Dad was famous.’ I whip out my scrapbooks and my DVDs and say, ‘Believe it or not, that’s your dad.’ And my kid’s like, ‘You used to be on TV and everything? And now you stay home and just clean the house all day while Mom works?’ ‘That’s right, son.’ It’s a dream, that the kid doesn’t know anything about that part of my life. Our normal life is uncontaminated by it.”

On Tom Cruise: “I look at Tom Cruise, who made films that called for him to be young, fit and charming, and that appeal made him a star. When Tom wanted to give a real performance, he made Magnolia. It was like watching some alien that looked like Tom Cruise, because it was nothing you’d ever seen Tom do. That he was not given the Oscar that year for Magnolia was devastating to me.”

On Mel Gibson: “He has made great films in all genres. Mel is everything you want in a movie star, but there’s a layer underneath him. I don’t know if the word is danger or pathos, but there’s a complexity to Mel.”

On Leonardo DiCaprio: “I remember being around Leo DiCaprio in The Aviator and thinking, God, how gifted this guy is, how he’s taking advantage of his opportunities.”

On Johnny Depp: “There was always something boyish and puckish about Johnny Depp, but I’ll never forget watching Sweeney Todd and feeling profoundly impressed by his performance.”

On how to become a celebrity: “Don’t pay your federal income taxes, get drunk and try to bolt through airport security with a gun in your suitcase, and last but not least, get a DUI and be arrested in Malibu.”

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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30 Rock Quotes

Liz: Have you ever updated your Flash player? It is so sad. What happens to version 11.4?
Jack: Oh, what now?
Liz, yelling: I'm taking hormone shots to have a baby you son of a bitch!

Jack: You should get to know Devon, tell him all of your television ideas. You know he started off as page just like you.
Kenneth: Really? So did I!