You may know Rachel Dratch as “Debbie Downer” from her stint on “Saturday Night Live” or for her cameos on “30 Rock,” but the 46-year-old comedian has more stories to tell than the standard ex-“SNL”-er’s behind-the-scenes yarns.
“It all started because I wasn’t getting acting jobs, basically,” Dratch says dryly when asked about how she began to write her memoir, “Girl Walks Into a Bar.” The actress, having parted with “SNL” in 2006 after seven years, had first decided to write a book about her dating experiences in New York City, having been courted by all manner of strange men — including one particular gem who had an interest in consuming horse meat. But then something unexpected happened.
“There was this crazy twist that happened in my life and I thought maybe I should start writing about this,” she says. Dratch, at 43 years old, after having given up on the idea of being married with kids someday, unexpectedly got pregnant and decided to make that “midlife miracle,” as she calls it, the centerpiece of her book.
“I feel a little exposed about the fact that people are going to read so much about me,” she says. “But, I guess it’s the kind of thing that I like to read, so I was just trying to be true as a, whatever, dare I say, artist. I didn’t want to gloss over things. The whole thing about not having kids is those baby showers. I think so many women feel the way that I talk about in the book — I think there’s lots of disappointment in these women’s hearts.”
While Dratch does explore some of these sensitive issues, she’s not short on the dish when it comes to her own love life and her time on “Saturday Night Live,” even if she is loath to admit that her unique perspective on that legendary TV show is a fascinating component to the book.
“I don’t even really want to talk about ‘SNL’ just because, to me, so many people have described their experience there,” she says. “When I was there, it was pretty supportive. It’s very competitive to get your scene on, but there wasn’t a lot of ugliness or sabotage. I wasn’t hiding the big story where there was backstabbing. It’s such highs and such lows there. Only people that have been there understand what it’s like to get your scene cut at 11 p.m. before you’re going on. But then on the flip side, it’s the pinnacle of sketch comedy.”
Rachel on dating in the city:
“In Europe, I’m a total hottie, not that I spend much time in Europe. Whenever I leave New York [or L.A., I] meet a lot of normal guys. There’s a lot more normal guys not in these big cities where everyone moves there to be the best thing. Everyone moves there to be the best in their careers and that includes dating the hottest chick. I don’t know, it just seems like there’s lots of trading up and looking around in L.A. and New York.”