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Jack McBrayer’s roles don’t vary much, but that’s the way he — and his fans — likes it.

PLENTY OF ACTORS have built their careers on playing one version of themselves after another. George Clooney is usually George Clooney, whether he’s George Clooney in a suit or George Clooney in Army fatigues or George Clooney in a prisoner’s uniform.

But most of those actors don’t have to worry about being themselves when they’re not on the clock. Then again, most of those actors don’t have a version of themselves that’s an adorably naive Southern boy who, by his own admission, loves only two things in this world: “everybody and television.” But that’s the situation in which Jack McBrayer — the Emmy-nominated actor and native of Macon, Georgia, who plays NBC page Kenneth Parcell on 30 Rock — sometimes finds himself.

“I get a little self-conscious because if I’m at a bar, hanging out with friends, having beers and stuff, and then people come up and, I don’t know, want to see Kenneth, I’m like, ‘Oh, darling. I’ve had three Bud Lights. [You’re] going to see a sloppy version of Kenneth tonight,’ ” McBrayer says, laughing. “But everyone’s always very nice. And it really doesn’t even happen all that much. If I were walking around in a page outfit all the time, that might be different. But I’m Jack McBrayer, wearing a T-shirt and blue jeans.”

The funny way in which McBrayer says that last line — a punch line that really isn’t one — doesn’t quite translate on paper. But McBrayer’s offhanded delivery is unique, and it has helped him move from guest-starring in sketches on Late Night with Conan O’Brien (always playing a naive Southerner) to starring in big-screen blockbusters (playing yet another clueless Southerner in Forgetting Sarah Marshall). And it’s probably the reason that some of comedy’s leading lights have created roles specifically for him. He has a voice — literally and figuratively — that’s unlike that of any other comic actor.

Writer and director Adam McKay heard that voice when McBrayer was doing improv at New York’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. It stuck with him, to the point that when he and Will Ferrell were writing Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, they created a role just for McBrayer (Glenn, the — surprise! — naive Southern pit crew member). Tina Fey, who knew McBrayer from his work in Chicago at the Second City, did the same on 30 Rock with the Kenneth character.

“I know: I’m, like, the laziest actor in the world,” he says. “I just wait for people to write parts for me.”

Despite the fact that his 30 Rock part was crafted with him in mind, he still had to audition for the show. But McBrayer says that auditioning for the part of, well, basically himself didn’t put any extra pressure on him.

“I’ve faced so many obstacles [with acting] in the past because I am Southern and, you know, I look the way I look. You can’t do too much else with that,” he says with a laugh. “So when [a role] is kind of tailored toward that, it is a huge relief. I just went over there and — do what I do? Did what I do? Do what I did?”

Kenneth, for the record, isn’t exactly like McBrayer. For one thing, he wears a navy blazer more often than the man who plays him. And while McBrayer enjoys the occasional Bud Light, Kenneth was unknowingly brought up on alcohol, which he calls “hill-people milk.” Beyond that, the lines blur. But the variations are enough to ensure that McBrayer stays safe in New York, where he now resides. (Kenneth, on the other hand, was mugged while he was street-performing in his neighborhood.)

“I will admit that I am not the most worldly person, and sometimes I might be a little too trusting,” he says. “But Kenneth is dangerously so. He puts himself in the line of fire, where I would say, ‘Oh, this looks like a bad situation that I will avoid.’”

One situation he chooses not to avoid: typecasting. McBrayer knows the score. He knows who he is, what he can do, and what’s out there for someone like him, a somewhat naive Southern actor. It helps that what’s out there has been choice roles in hit films and TV shows, but he would probably be fine with the situation regardless.

“I’m not fooling myself,” McBrayer says. “I’m not like, ‘But wait — I could be a very good dramatic actor. Yes, Jack McBrayer, the grizzled cop from the streets of Boston. That is me to a T.’ No, I’m the happiest one-trick pony you’re going to find.”