Jack Welch, the legendary former CEO of GE who died Sunday at age 84, was also a remarkably good sport.
Welch, who led GE for two decades (from 1981-2001) and oversaw its expansion to include the NBCUniversal media empire, appeared in a 2010 episode of the NBC sitcom “30 Rock” — playing Jack Welch, of course.
And he even got to slap the face of Alec Baldwin’s fictional NBC exec Jack Donaghy. In the episode, Baldwin’s Donaghy gets Welch to confirm GE’s sale of NBCUniversal to a Philadelphia-based cable company called Kabletown — a clear reference to the cable giant Comcast, which bought NBCUniversal from GE in November 2009.
In the episode, Baldwin’s Donaghy refers to Welch as “Neutron Jack,” a nickname the exec picked up for downsizing the company in the 1980s, eliminating personnel while leaving the buildings intact.
And Welch maintains his tough-guy reputation in the short “30 Rock” scene. “If you need to pass some eye water, I’ll be happy to go out and get you some weakness tissues,” Welch tells Baldwin’s Donaghy after telling him that his fictional mentor had died and that the news was kept quiet until after the deal was closed.
And when Donaghy says he still plans to fight the Kabletown deal, Welch raises his palm for a slap right on Donaghy’s left cheek. “Let it go, John,” he says.
Watch the scene above.