By Judy Kurtz - 04/16/12 11:24 PM EDT
Even though he’s often flirted with a run for political office, Alec Baldwin says he didn’t quite fit in with his peers during one of his first experiences at the Capitol.
The “30 Rock” star, speaking at the National Press Club on Monday while in town to push for funding for the arts, talked about the time he spent as an intern for his local congressman, the late Rep. Jerome Ambro (D-N.Y.).
Baldwin recalls that back then, his fellow interns had one thing on their minds: “Most of these guys … they were all just mythical alcoholics-in-training. Every day they would have a roster there of all the parties that were all in the House offices.”
The liberal entertainer, who plays the smug (and conservative) Jack Donaghy on the NBC series, then cracked about the kinds of organizations holding soirees the interns would try to infiltrate: “The National Association of Carpet Shampooers, National Association of Q-tip Weavers … And these guys I worked with, they knew the skinny on all of them in terms of food and booze. They’d say, ‘Remember that reception we went to with the Q-tip people? They had great lobster.’ ”
While his hard-partying counterparts were looking for their next cocktail, Baldwin claims he was all business. He likened himself during his Capitol days to the wide-eyed, naïve character from “The Andy Griffith Show,” saying with a Southern drawl, “I came in and I was like Gomer Pyle. I was like, ‘So, what y’all doing when we’re done working? Have we licked all the envelopes? Have we sorted all the files?’ ”
Still, his time in the capital didn’t sour him on the District. Baldwin told the sold-out crowd at the lunch, “I love Washington. I worked for the [Federal Communications Commission], I worked for a law firm, I worked for Jerry Ambro. But I was given an opportunity to audition for and I got into the acting program. And to be honest with you, I started working right away and never looked back.”