30 Rock Comes to Middlebury?


So I’m watching last night’s wonderfully daffy 30 Rock, which will be the last new episode for a long time until the writer’s strike ends (about which I’m feeling less and less optimistic). The main storyline involves Jack and C.C. meeting halfway between NYC and DC for a rendezvous, in what is supposed to be Hockassin, a Pennsylvania mining town. Before the first scene in Hockassin, we get this 2-second establishing shot:

30 Rock Middlebury

That, my friends, is my hometown of Middlebury, Vermont. For those of you who’ve never visited, it’s tiny, completely out-of-the-way (unless your way involves traveling between Rutland and Burlington), and not-at-all like a Pennsylvania coal mining town.

So what gives? Why would the show use this footage here, as it’s presumably less convenient to capture than a real Pennsylvania setting? Is some 30 Rock producer a Middlebury alum who slipped it in as a quick homage (much like Snake on The Simpsons, whose life of crime is motivated to pay back his loans to Middlebury)? Anybody out there in the Internets have a clue?


7 Responses to “30 Rock Comes to Middlebury?”

  1. Dear Jason,

    Keathley tipped me off to this post as I worked on the show until the Writers Guild unemployment program kicked in. In fact, I worked on that episode.

    I am guessing that we used stock footage that looked very small townish for that shot. I forwarded your post onto the post production supervisor. I’m not sure if anyone on the show went to Middlebury, but the writers office is full of Ivy League types, so who knows.

    I’ll let you in on a couple more secrets. CC’s Washington Office was on Stage 5 at Silvercup Studios in Queens, The Hockassin PA Betting parlor was actually in Greenpoint Brooklyn and the lovely Hockassin Park was, you guessed it, Central Park.

    Wish us luck. Our show is up for a DGA award next week!!

    C Swartout

  2. 2 Midd Alum

    There was another reference to Middlebury last night on 30 Rock

    “BENNINGTON COLLEGE?” Jack exclaims, “That’s only for kids who didn’t get into Middlebury!”

    • 3 HoLLY Steel

      I was wondering about the Bennington reference too. Did a writer attend and if so, any good words to say about Bennington. I have a kid who might be interested in that college. He loves to write!

  3. 4 Tucker

    If anything, it’s referring to the actual town of Hockessin, DE, which sits right on the PA border.

  4. 5 Shannon

    I know this article is 9 years old but I was just watching this episode and wondering what town they were supposed to be depicting. I am from a small coal mining area in the luzerne/schuylkill area and I think that image really does depict the typical small PA town. I think the presence of the church, hills, small storefronts, and historic looking buildings is perfect!

  1. 1 The Wire: Waiting for the end « Just TV
  2. 2 30 Rock/Middlebury: Updated « 1711: Town Meeting in the Modern Age

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