Why does Alec Baldwin look like he's making a hostage video on MSNBC?
It seemed like a cute idea - drafting 30 Rock star and noted liberal Alec Baldwin to make an extended appearance behind the news anchor desk on Lawrence O'Donnell's MSNBC show The Last Word.
So why did Baldwin look like he was making a hostage video while announcing upcoming segments and delivering a bit of news?
Likely he was trying a bit too hard to look serious -- like former Saturday Night Live star Al Franken, who seems so wary of being taken seriously as a senator he doesn't even smile much in public anymore.
But relax, Alec. Cable TV news loves celebrity, media buzz and quotability more than anything.
So let your inner Jack Donaghy fly and worry not what we lowly media critics will make of it all.
In a TV land where the boundaries between news, entertainment and punditry are thinner than ever, showing a little charm while talking about Obama's re-election chances can't hurt anyone.
(Check out the second clip and see the most hellish part of being a politician; having to smile enthusiastically at people you'd rather be cursing out)