Monday, May 21, 2012
Subtitle: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle
Author: Rachel Dratch
Publisher: Gotham Books (Penguin)
Pub. Date: March 29, 2012
After reading last year's Bossypants by Tina Fey, I was excited to see that her friend and colleague, Rachel Dratch, had also written a memoir. Though also humorous and enjoyable, her memoir does differ in many ways from Bossypants; but fans of hers and of Saturday Night Live will likely still enjoy this one as long as they are okay with some of the focus being on her "midlife miracle". This memoir is also told in two parts. The first part focuses on Dratch's career, starting at Second City (where Fey worked as well) and eventually joining SNL; the second part focuses on the surprising and miraculous thing that happens to her in her 40's.
I was a little vague there, but it's no surprise what happens -- Dratch appeared on talk shows discussing this, and it's on the book flap. Basically, after coming to grips with the fact that her childbearing years were long gone, Dratch, at the age of 43, became pregnant and had a child with a man that she randomly met in a bar. (I was led to believe it was literally a one night stand that produced her child, but there was a little more to it than that...). Her thoughts on having a child were fun to read about, and though mothers will relate and I'm not a mother, I still found it enjoyable because of her humor and because of the circumstances. Plus, there was also a lot of relating to her quips before getting pregnant, the frustrations with baby showers, etc.
Even though much of the first part of the book was a lead up to the focus of the story, I found it interesting as well. She gave a lot of background information about SNL such as what the comedians' jobs are from Sunday through Friday and the process of having their sketches chosen for the show. She answered the questions everyone has been asking her about what happened to her being on 30 Rock. I hadn't realized it until I read Bossypants, but Dratch was supposed to have played the role of Jenna (one of the main roles in the show!) She talked about her inability to find any good roles in Hollywood after leaving SNL and being typecast as a lesbian or one offer to play "the world's ugliest woman" or something along those lines. Dratch's humor is very self-deprecating which at times was funny but at other times made me sad. But Hollywood is a tough place for the most beautiful and confident of people, and Dratch's musings had unfortunate truth to them.
I'm glad I read this; Girl Walks Into a Bar was a fun quick read that fans of SNL and of Rachel Dratch are sure to enjoy.