At the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s third season last night, creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock aired a regret. Namely, that they didn’t feel like they could properly incorporate the election of Donald Trump into the show.
Indeed, Trump does get a shout out in the first episode of the year. Jane Krakowski’s Jacqueline tells the heroine that she briefly attended Trump University, and then proudly declares her support for the school’s, uh, team, “Go Pricks!” During a Q&A session, an audience member asked about that joke. Carlock took credit for it, but explained why the season didn’t have even more about the presidency. He explained that “one of the unfortunate things” was they shot almost all the season before the election.” He went on: “We declared kind of early to ourselves in the writer’s room we didn’t feel like we could deal with this. We didn’t want to take a guess because we would have been wrong.” But he also acknowledged how it would have fit into the Kimmy Schmidt universe. “It’s too bad because it was an election between a woman and a bully,” he noted. Fey added: “It would have been a great story for Kimmy, but the timing of it, her voting for the first time all that stuff, didn’t line up.” They did write some jokes tangentially related to the proceedings, including the Trump University crack. “It was mostly just a desire to make sure we were attacking him in some way,” Carlock said.
Indeed, Fey also revealed another, cheerier scenario that didn’t come to pass: A cameo from Kenneth The Page. Coincidentally, Jack McBrayer was in town when they were shooting at Rockefeller Center. “I said, ‘Would you want to come down and just put on your weird ’70s suit like you’re still the president of NBC and just walk through the shot?’” she explained. “He had like a 30 minute break from this play and he came down and got all suited up and we just didn’t get it in time.” She did promise to keep trying to work him into the series.
New episodes of Kimmy Schmidt, which are set to feature guest stars like Laura Dern and Ray Liotta, will come to Netflix May 19.