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Cannonball Read V: Girl Walks into a Bar...: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle by Rachel Dratch

By baxlala | Book Reviews | April 2, 2013 | Comments ()


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Let's just get this out of the way: Rachel Dratch is hilarious. She should be more famous. She should be known for more than Debbie Downer and "that 'SNL' lady who got kicked off of '30 Rock'." Remember when she played that baby with the arm on its head? COME ON.

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Girl Walks into a Bar... is Rachel Dratch's memoir and, in it, she addresses the whole "30 Rock" kerfuffle, her career post-SNL (or lackthereof, as it mainly consists of her playing lesbian roommates and undesirable dates in terrible comedies), and her late-in-life pregnancy, all with candor, humility, and OBVIOUSLY a great sense of humor.

For those who are not familiar with "30 Rock," the facts are these: Rachel Dratch was cast as Jenna Maroney, she shot the pilot, and then they (they as in NBC suits, I guess?) decided to "go in a different direction," and so they recast her with Jane Krakowski. The decision was made, according to THE MAN, because the character didn't test well, and Rachel (I call her Rachel, because we're friends now) was out.

I very vaguely remember this being a thing, and people saying that it was because she's not as hot as Jane Krakowski or whatever, but Rachel says it's the kind of thing that happens all the time, and we shouldn't be bitter on her behalf. I think she's just being a good person. I mean, she doesn't sound bitter at all about this, whereas most people would have burned NBC to the ground (see also: Conan O'Brien), and, yeah, maybe she was pretty pissed when it happened, but now she sounds very well-adjusted about it.

Still. It seems unfair that Rachel Dratch isn't as famous as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. All three were on SNL together, the three are friends (as much as I can tell from the internet and this book), and yet it's Amy and Tina who are the power comedy couple. Rachel is the Cinderella to their wicked step-sisters, except not really because they don't seem wicked, they seem AWESOME, and really I just want to hang out with all three of them, is that too much to ask?

For those who might read Girl Walks Into a Bar hoping for a backstage tell-all of SNL, with tales of drugs and sex and backstabbing, this is not the book for you (for some of that, check out this article). Rachel talks about her time on SNL, of course, and how she ended up there and what happened to her afterward, but she has nothing but nice things to say about her fellow cast members and she doesn't spend any time dishing any dirt on anyone. If that's what you're looking for, I don't know, go become friends with Bill Murray or something. (But if you do that, please let me know how, because I would also like to be friends with Bill Murray.)

Anyway, things turned out OK for Rachel. Don't feel bad for her or anything. She has a lasting legend thanks to Debbie Downer and her time on SNL, her baby is adorable, she seems happy with where she is in life, plus she made some awesome appearances on "Billy On the Street". SHE DOESN'T NEED YOUR PITY, OK.

This review is part of the volunteer Cannonball Read V. Read all about it , and find more of baxlala's reviews on the group blog.

(Note: Any revenue generated from purchases made through the amazon.com affiliate links in this review will be donated in entirety to the American Cancer Society.)


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • This book is a great read. I had an awesome summer last year because I was house sitting fort parents at their pool while reading this Tina Fey's book and Mindy Kalings..it was a glorious girly summer.

  • I have a couple flights coming up at the end of the month - do we think this is good airport reading? (Easy to focus on over noise of others, doesn't matter if you get interrupted 800 times?)

  • baxlala

    Totally. It's a pretty quick read, too, but that might have just been because I liked it so much.

  • ERM

    So...is the book good?

  • baxlala

    It is! I give it 4 out of 5 baby arms.

  • ERM

    Great, I'll get it for my upcoming traveling!

  • logan

    I have no idea who she is but she has a huge rack.

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    And clocked it. Too bad there aren't any turf accountants on the premises because I could have made a killing off of how long it would take for the first person to go there. Give my regards to Baby New Year, Sherlock Holmes and eyes. *sigh*.

  • Captain_Tuttle

    I've been wanting to read this for a while - she just seems so normal, if being hysterically funny is normal.

  • baxlala

    She really does make hysterically funny seem normal. I think that's one of the things that's so great about her.

  • DeltaJuliet

    I love Rachel. That character with the baby arm on her head kills me every time. And her Boston character with Jimmy Fallon (and occassionally Ben Affleck). I always found her to be right on par with Amy and Tina. Love her.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    That Boston character of hers is my favorite.

  • baxlala

    I'm to the point where I just THINK about the baby arm character and I start laughing, which is kind of a weird thing to do in the middle of a work meeting but whatever I'm OK with it.

  • DeltaJuliet

    Don't feel bad. I'm laughing about it right now :)

  • Joe Grunenwald

    Rachel Dratch is delightful. And she's hilarious on Twitter.

  • baxlala

    How am I not already following her on Twitter? I'm such a terrible friend.

  • mswas

    How did I not know this either? Great review and book. I'll be mentioning @TheRealDratch when I tweet the review from @cannonballread today.

  • baxlala

    Thank you! :)

    For some reason, I always forget to look for people on Twitter until someone else retweets them. I'm such a follower.

  • mswas

    Aren't we all?

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