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