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Remember When Mariska Hargitay’s Husband Played Liz Lemon’s Crush on 30 Rock?

Peter Hermann's character found chemistry with Lemon (Tina Fey) in the halls of 30 Rockefeller Plaza—but their relationship didn't work out for a hilarious reason. 

By Samantha Vincenty

Actress Mariska Hargitay met her husband, Peter Hermann, on the set of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit back in 2002. An actor like his wife of 19 years, Hermann recurred on the long-running procedural as defense attorney Trevor Langan, appearing in 35 episodes total.

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While he's had other dramatic roles on shows like Blue Bloods and the 2022 horror film Goodnight Mommy, Hermann's comedic acting chops were on full display when he guest-starred on a 2007 episode of classic NBC comedy 30 Rocktitled "The Head and the Hair."

RELATED: All About Mariska Hargitay's Husband, Peter Hermann

Hermann played the "Hair" in question, one in a long line of love interests for lead character Liz Lemon (Tina Fey). Over the course of seven seasons, the illustrious list of actors who appeared as potential boyfriends, actual boyfriends and eventually, Lemon's onscreen husband include Jason Sudeikis, Jon Hamm, and James Marsden—so Hermann is in great company.

Mariska Hargitay and her husband Peter Hermann

Peter Hermann's role in "The Head and the Hair"

The 11th episode of 30 Rock Season 1 opens with Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) asking Liz Lemon if she's going to go on a date with "The Head."

As Liz tells TGS producer Pete (Scott Adsit), Jenna's referring to two men who work in 30 Rock at MSNBC, who Liz and Jenna have nicknamed "The Head" (Brian McCann, who wrote for both Late Night with Conan O'Brien and The Tonight Show Starring Conan O'Brien), and "The Hair" (Hermann).

RELATED: Tina Fey's TV and Movie Roles, from 30 Rock to A Haunting in Venice

After their multiple elevator flirtations with the two, both friends assumed that the one with TV-star good looks—The Hair—would gravitate toward Jenna, while Liz should date The Head, who is nerdier and so named for his hairline. Pete and Jenna convince Liz to ask The Head out, but she runs into The Hair when she arrives on the NBC News floor. That's when she learns that is real name is Gray, and *plot twist*: Gray likes Liz, not Jenna, and he asks her out. 

"He's the The Hair, and I'm a Head-plus at best," Liz tells Jenna, nervous about her impending date with Gray.

Nevertheless, Liz meets Gray at the ultra-hip new restaurant he invited her to, while Jenna's at home enduring a recorder serenade from The Head. Liz leaves, and Gray chases her to a bodega. Bewildered by Gray's interest, Liz asks this iconic 30 Rock quote: "What's your game, friend?" 

After the two find an unexpected moment of chemistry, the two go on another successful date—but things go hilariously awry when their conversation leads to a shocking discovery. We won't spoil it for you, but watch to see the reveal that ends their romance below. We're glad that Hermann's real-life love with Hargitay has gone much more smoothly. 

Stream episodes of 30 Rock on Peacock now.