YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Emmy nominated actor/comedian Jack McBrayer began exercising his southern-accented funny bone in the mid-1990s with The Second City Theatre in Chicago where he first came into contact with comedy’s reigning queen Tina Fey.
In the early- to mid-naughts, long before Miz Fey’s boob-toob juggernaut 30 Rock ever hit the airwaves, Mister McBrayer created and honed his bubbly, wide-eyed and simpleminded NBC page character Kenneth Parcell on The Conan O’Brien Show. Eventually that character, a quirky half-witted hillbilly who goes to New York with stars in his eyes and a bus ticket home in his pocket, wound up on Tina Fey’s tour de sitcom force, a turn of showbiz events that earned him fame, fortune and legions of fervent fans. Mister McBrayer has also appeared in the films Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and Forgetting Sarah Marshall as well as on a number of tee-vee programs including Arrested Development and Phineas and Ferb.
Given that 30 Rock tapes in New York City it seems strange that the Macon, Georgia-born Mister McBrayer would want or need a multi-million dollar house in Tinseltown but, according to our eerily well-informed celebrity real estate whistle blower Lucy Spillerguts, Mister McBrayer recently plunked down $1,975,000 for a fully-rehabbed residence in the Hollywood Hills above the historic and charming Beachwood Canyon neighborhood.
The “contemporary” but architecturally unremarkable residence, according to listing information we cajoled from the interweb, measures 2,594 square feet over two floors and includes 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. The nearly one-third acre hillside property recently underwent an extensive two-year overhaul during which the hillside at the back of the house was re-engineered and a large retaining wall added that created a flat promontory with million dollar views of the surrounding canyons, the Hollywood Sign, Griffith Observatory and downtown. Say what you will about Los Angeles but living in Lala Land with a view like this house has is akin to living in Chicago with a view of the lake or in Brooklyn with a distant view on Manhattan.
A front-facing two-car garage dominates the narrow street frontage. The somewhat awkward entry to the house is around the side through a see-through gate that swings opens to staggering views and a wide terrace that continues past the front door and wraps around the back of the house. Iffin Your Mama were to have overhauled this house we would have done this front area differently with a walled courtyard entry that would not only provide additional semi-private outdoor space but also a gratifying sense of drama and anticipation as the eye is drawn through the courtyard to the front door and the dynamic and iconic views.
The main living space, a glass-lined living/dining room with powerful city views, connects to the updated and upgraded kitchen through a wide doorway. The honey-colored hardwood floors in the living/dining room run into the cozy but well-arranged kitchen that includes a vintage range, built-in wine fridge, pantry storage, a center work island and flat-fronted cabinets with nipple-like knobs. A day-dreamy corner window that allows the dishwasher to ponder the iconic Hollywood sign as they scrub the devil out of the frying pan.
A bank of cabinets perfect for storing bongs and board games surrounds the staircase to the lower level where a celebrity-sized master suite has a hookah lounge-sized sitting area wrapped in windows with panoramic views. Mister McBrayer’s new boo-dwar includes a walk-in closet and bathroom with double sinks, separate soaking tub, frameless glass shower with multiple shower heads and a separate cubby for the terlit. The walls into which the sinks are sunk in the master bathroom are papered with a shiny silver wall covering printed with over-scaled white flowers. Nobody loves shiny like Your Mama loves shiny so, in theory, silver wallpaper makes us pee with decorative glee. However this particular choice of wallpaper feels a little forced and trendy, particularly when paired with that snippet of electric apple green paint that surrounds the doorway into the closet.
Thankfully, a spiral staircase connects the second level living spaces with the lower level backyard, otherwise Mister McBrayer’s pool party guests would be required to traipse through his private quaters in order to get from the kitchen to the pool and spa. A shallow covered patio directly off the master bedroom’s sitting area looks like it barely provides any real shade. Pity that because it’s damn sunny in Southern California and shade is a desirable feature for all but the most viciously over-tanned. The concrete patio extends halfway around the amoebic glass tiled swimming pool where it abruptly ends and becomes a narrow strip of lawn large enough only for small to mid-size pooches to do their dirty bizness. The strip of grass wraps around the remainder of the pool and the raised circular spa that can both be light in a variety of theatrical colors including lavender. To be honest, puppies, Your Mama isn’t entirely positive that the spa is not at least partially visible from a couple of the nearby houses so it may not be the best place for Mister McBrayer to get romantic with whomever it is he gets romantic with. However, if your idea of relaxation is wallowing in a vat of near boiling water like you’re a damn carrot in a stew than this is probably a perfectly impressive and glittery spa in which to do it.
Based on a few short minutes of entirely unscientific research and a leg up from a New York City-based editor, Your Mama is pretty sure that Mister McBrayer’s New York City crib, a one bedroom and one bathroom condo in a fairly new and architecturally undistinguished building near Lincoln Center, was purchased in August of 2008 for $1,350,000.