Rachel Dratch on Her Career, That Red Vibrator, And Her Surprise Baby

Debbie Downer's Girl Walks Into a Bar is hilarious

Beloved for her SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE portrayals of flighty Ally McBeal and depressing Debbie Downer, Rachel Dratch went on to get bumped from 30 ROCK in favor of the more vavoomy, less sketch-oriented Jane Krakowski. Downer! (Waaah, waaah.) But Dratch has found her place as a mother, accidentally having a baby with a casual boyfriend, and practically turning into a walking greeting card about it—especially since the career is happening again, too. Her new book, GIRL WALKS INTO A BAR, is a hilarious and incisive view of her unexpected life trajectory.

Hi, Rachel. How do you define your relationship with the father of your baby these days? You start with hard-hitting questions! We're still figuring it out. He still lives two buildings down. When we had the baby, we hadn't dated very long, then we went through the trenches of baby-caring. Now he's getting a little more manageable.

The baby or the guy? The baby. Now it's like, "What are we gonna be?"

Ah, who cares how you label it? We're in New York!

But you used the withdrawal method during sex! Even prosties don't use that! I thought I was over the hill. I would not have relied on that. I had so many friends trying to have kids and going through fertility and all this stuff, so I let go of the idea that I could have kids for my own sanity.

Did you ever consider abortion? No. I'm very pro-choice, but even though I was scared and thought I might be doing this by myself, I couldn't imagine that would be a good option. I felt like I'd won the lottery or something. I know it's The Village Voice . . .

We're crazy cynical. . . . but I feel really lucky about the whole thing.

As for a career miscarriage: Do people still pester you with questions about 30 Rock? It's kind of died down a little. But there are still rampant questions. I can say, "Buy my book." [Laughs.]

Showbiz is so up and down. You're always starting over again at square zero, no? I had lucked out because I had Second City, then SNL. But now I understand the cycle. It dawns on you, "I'm one of those SNL people who's not working." As soon as I wrapped my head around that, I found acceptance. I didn't picture it, but I didn't picture this baby, either.

We can all relate to your horrible dating stories—like the boozy biologist who loved the taste of horse meat. The worst part was that he cancelled on me by text an hour before a date! I had to laugh about it.

I also loved the story where the Nate Berkus crew comes to your house to film, and you have to hide your red vibrator. But now you've told the whole world about it. I thought, "I'm gonna walk down the street, and everyone's gonna know my personal business!" Hopefully they won't read it. [Laughs.]

The truth can be freeing. Writing the book was empowering. It was nice just being your own boss. It was easier to do the book than to have to write a sketch.

A book can't get cancelled after the dress rehearsal. You describe a movie you made with starlet Estella Warren, who had some on-set freak-out that stopped the shooting for a while. Something about a relationship problem. I don't know what it was. That was one of my many straight-to-videos.

Are you ever relieved when a film doesn't hit theaters? Sometimes, yeah. I saw it on a plane, and I was like [hurling sound].

You used to get asked to play lesbians all the time, and—as you wrote—the scripts generally called for a fat, mullet-wearing diesel. Why is Hollywood so limited about that? I can't figure that one out. It's probably getting a little better.

No connection here, but why was there never a Debbie Downer movie? It would wear out its welcome after the third take to the camera. And they stopped doing the movies based on sketches.

Except MacGruber. [Pause.] Is there a Debbie Downer inside you? There probably is. I wouldn't say I'm totally Debbie Downer, but sometimes I catch myself saying, "You guys hear about that tornado?" Then I think, "No, Rachel, you're at a party." I'm Jewish. All Jews have a Debbie Downer in them.

And big breasts. Are you still self-conscious about yours? I would say so, but I haven't been asked about it in a long time, so I guess I forget about it more than I used to. It's hard to find clothes that fit.

Do you ever wish you were more of an ingenue? I'm so not that, so I don't think about that. I sort of played the weird friend then realized, "You're not the weird friend; you're the really weird friend." It's limiting in terms of casting, but I'm glad I just got this pilot. It's for a show called Lady Friends, written by Kari Lizer. It'll be nice to play a semi-normal person. I don't have an arm coming out my face.

Oh, wait. I hear they've replaced you with Jane Krakowski. I can't get my hopes too high! [Laughs.]

musto@villagevoice.com

 
My Voice Nation Help
8 comments
marty wombacher
marty wombacher

Great interview! She seems so cool, they should've kept her on 30 Rock! I'm going to check out the book!

Natali
Natali

My favorite line is definitely "I'm Jewish. All Jews have a Debbie Downer in them." and your comment about the big breasts!

Christina
Christina

Her dildo story had me crying with laughter. I can't think of any book that's ever done that. I literally had to put my kindle down and go breathe for a minute. I was worried I was going to have a stroke.

Neo-Realist
Neo-Realist

The withdrawal method? If she's serious, she's gotta be kidding. That's so adolescent for a middle aged gal...and guy presumably?

Musto
Musto

She discusses them in her book. Check it out. A great read.

Parvenu
Parvenu

Great interview. But why did you ask her about her big breasts?

 
New York Concert Tickets
Loading...