For every Tina Fey and Will Ferrell there’s a Dan Vitale and a yes, sadly, a Rachel Dratch… Saturday Night Live has been a great springboard to countless of comedic actors, but has also been the last stop of relevancy for many more. It’s a little too early to tell if Rachel Dratch fits into that latter category, but if the last six years are any indication she very likely could be. And she is the first to admit it in her frank, sometimes funny, sometimes flat out depressing memoir Girl Walks into a Bar…
The book begins with Dratch – best known for her characters Debbie Downer and Denise to Jimmy Fallon’s Sully – answering her most oft asked question: what are you doing now. Turns out, not much. She fields occasional calls from her agent, but they tend to be for the unattractive friend, the angry lesbian or both. The first half of the book is self-loathingly humorous, but eventually veers off into just uncomfortable self-loathing territory, before ending on a surprisingly pleasant note.
Dratch discusses in great details the awkward situation she and Fey were put in when she was cast in the lead for 30 Rock, then replaced by Jane Krakowski after the pilot was shot. Dratch is refreshingly open about the incident and the hurt it caused her. Overall she has written a decent celebrity memoir, but it veers into Debbie Downer territory when she starts discussing her dreadful dating life before the narrative morphs into an entirely different book when she talks about finding out she is pregnant with her somewhat serious boyfriend.
On the whole, Girl Walks into a Bar… is an interesting read for anyone looking to catch up with a former Saturday Night Live regular. But certainly not for everyone.
Girl Walks into a Bar… By Rachel Dratch/Hardcover/272 pages/Gotham Books/2012