I read Tina Fey’s Bossypants pre-Cannonballread and Amy Poheler’s Yes, Please last year, both women mention Rachel Dratch in their memoirs because they were friendly in Chicago and on SNL at the same time. For the last few years Girl Walks into a Bar… has been on my recommendations lists from Barnes & Nobel, Amazon and Goodreads- so it was time to give Ms. Dratch a spin.
Girl is different than her colleagues’ memoirs because SNL wasn’t the stepping stone for her career, it was the climax. She hits all the highlights: growing up in Boston, going to Dartmouth and then finding her way in the Second City. But her most famous role is probably the one that got way… I was a huge fan of 30 Rock and I knew vaguely that Dratch was originally supposed to be Jenna but always felt like it would have been a miscasting anyway. I didn’t realize the part was tweaked to accommodate Jane Krakowski and be more TV friendly (blonder, prettier) and how, even though it was nice to be asked, it awkward it was to be kept around as bit parts.
Dratch doesn’t spend too much time on her career, or lack thereof, in her memoir. She answers the questions she gets asked on the street the most upfront and than launches into her love life which is far more interesting anyway. She was very unlucky in love before forming an unlikely family unit with a man in her early 40s and she is very open and honest in her failures.
Dratch may not be as well known as her famous friends but her book was just as interesting. You don’t need to be an SNL fan (I happen to be one) to enjoy this comedienne’s memoir.