A lot of weird and and wonderful things came out of 30 Rock, and Leap Day William is one of the weirdest, joining the ranks of Festivus as one of the best fictional holiday traditions. The legend goes that Leap Day William arises from the Mariana Trench every Leap Day to trade the candy for the tears of children. Not only that, but he pokes everyone not wearing yellow and blue and encourages others to seize the day, because real life (and consequences) are for March. Not only does this hilarious bit of mythology tie into the season 6 episode “Leap Day,” it also gave us Jim Carrey running through the streets with a weird mustache and gills screaming nonsense.
Although it has been four long years since that episode aired (miss you, Liz Lemon), fans are still eager to hear how this hysterical episode came to be. Well, co-creator Robert Carlock recently opened up to Atlas Obscura about the episode’s inception and how it became an internet sensation.
“Leap Day William threatened us,” says Carlock. “He made us do it.”
“We had been talking about leap day and this whole mythology arrived, which we loved instantly. Like Woollie, a whole other world opens up to you. You have all the short hand, the millennia of traditions, with so many holidays. It was as if we had a completely untouched new Christmas.”
Carlock also explains that he is still shocked to this day that they were able to get Jim Carrey as the titular harbinger of Leap Day and Andie McDowell to play his wife. Also, unsurprisingly, most of Carrey’s bits were unscripted, which makes the frantic shouts of “I saved Leap Day and connected with my son and I solved a big case from earlier!” even more hilarious.
(Via Atlas Obscura)