Rachel Dratch

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Rachel Dratch
Dratch smiling
Dratch at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Teacher of the Year
Rachel Susan Dratch

(1966-02-22) February 22, 1966 (age 55)
Alma materDartmouth College
  • Actress
  • comedian
  • writer
Years active1994–present

Rachel Susan Dratch (born February 22, 1966) is an American actress, comedian, and writer. Born and raised in Lexington, Massachusetts, she graduated from Dartmouth College in 1988 and moved to Chicago, Illinois, to study improvisational theatre at The Second City and ImprovOlympic.

Her breakthrough came on the NBC television show Saturday Night Live (SNL), where she was a cast member from 1999 to 2006. In addition to her work on SNL, she has appeared as a guest star in television shows such as The King of Queens, Monk, and 30 Rock, as well as films such as Click, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, and Wine Country. In 2012, she published her autobiographical book Girl Walks Into a Bar...: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle. She also portrayed a museum guard in the Sesame Street special The Cookie Thief.

Early life[edit]

Dratch was born in Lexington, Massachusetts,[1] the daughter of Elaine Ruth (née Soloway), a transportation director, and Paul Dratch, a radiologist.[2][3] Both of Dratch's parents were Reform Jews.[4] Dratch attended Hebrew school and had a bat mitzvah. She is nonobservant as an adult, and instead characterizes the faith she was born into as part of her cultural heritage.[1]

Her younger brother, Daniel, is a television producer and writer, with credits including the TV series Anger Management. Dratch grew up the "class clown type",[1] attending William Diamond Middle School and Lexington High School in Massachusetts. She has said that even in her high school's plays she gravitated towards participating in comedies over dramas.[5]

Dratch attended the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in the fall of 1985,[6] and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1988, where she majored in drama and psychology and was a member of the improvisational comedy group "Said and Done".[1] While at Dartmouth, Dratch was a classmate of Kirsten Gillibrand.[7]


Dratch was a member of the mainstage cast of The Second City comedy troupe for four years. She received the Joseph Jefferson award for Best Actress in a Revue for the two revues in which she performed: Paradigm Lost and Promisekeepers, Losers Weepers. At The Second City, she performed alongside future SNL head writers Adam McKay and Tina Fey, as well as future 30 Rock performer Scott Adsit. The first incarnation of her SNL "Wicked" sketch was performed in The Second City's Paradigm Lost. In addition to acting, Dratch also played the cello onstage. The theater also hosted the first incarnation of Dratch & Fey (her critically praised two-woman show with Tina Fey[8]), which was later performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York, where it was dubbed "the funniest thing to be found on any New York comedy stage" by Time Out New York.[9]

Dratch has appeared in several movies, including Martin & Orloff, The Hebrew Hammer, Down with Love, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, Click, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Spring Breakdown, and My Life in Ruins. She also has joined fellow SNL cast members on A.S.S.S.S.C.A.T.: Improv, which aired September 7, 2005, on the Bravo channel. Dratch also made television appearances on NBC's Third Watch and in a recurring role on The King of Queens (playing Denise, the on-off girlfriend of Spence, who worked in a bowling alley). Other television appearances include Monk, Frasier, Wizards of Waverly Place, 30 Rock, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Inside Amy Schumer, Ugly Betty, and more recently, in season five of The Middle. She also appeared online with comedian Billy Eichner in a spoof of Jay-Z and Alicia Keys's "Empire State of Mind", titled "Forest Hills State of Mind."[10]

Dratch smiling
Dratch in 2008

Dratch was originally cast in the role of Jenna Maroney on 30 Rock as "Jenna DeCarlo", and the original pilot episode features her in the role. After feedback from test audiences, the role was ultimately recast with Jane Krakowski. She went on to play a variety of small guest roles in several episodes of the first season, including Barbara Walters, Elizabeth Taylor, a cat trainer, a custodian, a blue monster, and a doctor.[11]

On March 19, 2012, Dratch's memoir, Girl Walks into a Bar...: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle was published. In it, Dratch recounts her experiences after being recast in the 30 Rock pilot, including the birth of her first child.[12]

In 2016 Dratch hosted the program Rachel Dratch's Late Night Snack on truTV. The sketch comedy program featured Dratch in the role of an unspeaking waitress in wraparound segments. Dratch also occasionally appeared in sketches. The show ran for two seasons.

Saturday Night Live[edit]

Her tenure at SNL spanned 1999 to 2006. Dratch's recurring characters included Denise, a Boston teen; Sheldon, the junior-high-school boy from Wake up, Wakefield; one of the Luvahs (with Will Ferrell, as two pretentious professors); Abe Scheinwald, a Hollywood producer with a terrible acquisition record; and, perhaps most memorably, Debbie Downer, a depressed woman who brought others down with grim non sequiturs.[13] In December 2011, she made a guest appearance on Saturday Night Live's Christmas show, hosted by former cast member Jimmy Fallon. On April 15, 2017, she made another guest appearance with host Jimmy Fallon. On February 3, 2018 she made a guest appearance as a "Patriot of New England" in a Revolutionary War-themed sketch parodying the fans of the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles in advance of Super Bowl LII.[14] On September 29, 2018, she appeared as Senator Amy Klobuchar in the cold open sketch surrounding the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.[15] She has continued to reprise the role of Klobuchar during sketches on the Democratic Party primary debates, specifically the fifth and sixth debates in November and December 2019.[16]

Personal life[edit]

As she discusses in her book, Girl Walks Into a Bar..., Dratch met John Wahl, a consultant in the natural foods industry, in a bar in 2009. Six months later, Dratch learned she was pregnant, and on August 24, 2010, Dratch gave birth to Eli Benjamin, her son with Wahl.[17] In an October 2010 interview, Dratch told People that her pregnancy at age 44 shocked her, because she "had bought into all this stuff about, 'Once you're over 40 [pregnancy becomes difficult]" and had "gone through the whole process of letting go of [the idea of having kids.]"[18] As of 2019, Dratch and Wahl are not a couple, but are on good terms and live near each other to be involved with their son.[19]


  • Girl Walks into a Bar...: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle, 2012



Television work
Year Title Role Notes
1999–2006 Saturday Night Live Herself/Various (including Debbie Downer) 1999–2001: featured player, 2001–2006: repertory player, cameos in 2010, 2011, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021.
2000 Third Watch Darla Season 2, episode 10: "History"
2002 Kim Possible Adrena Lynn Voice role, episode: "All the News"
2002–2004 The King of Queens Denise Ruth Battaglia Six episodes (seasons 5–6)
2004 Soundtracks Live Dorothy Baker TV film
Monk Julie Parlo Season 2, episode 13: "Mr. Monk and the Missing Granny"
Game Over Alice Smashburn Regular cast
voice role
Frasier Horny Date Season 11, episode 18: "Match Game"
2005–2006 O'Grady Brooke Voice role, two episodes (seasons 1–2)
2006–2012 30 Rock Various Roles Originally cast as Jenna DeCarlo, later recast.
Appearances in 15 episodes (seasons 1, 5 and 6).
2008 Aqua Teen Hunger Force Robot Wife Voice role
Season 5, episode 2: "Robots Are Everywhere"
Squidbillies Hippie Woman Voice role
Season 3, episode 6: "Earth Worst"
Assy McGee Various Roles Voice role
Six episodes (season 2)
Avatar: The Last Airbender Actress Aang Season 3, episode 17: "The Ember Island Players"
The Consultants Allie Unsold TV pilot
Superjail! Various Roles Voice role (uncredited)
Season 1, episode 3: "Ladies Night"
2008–2009 Wizards of Waverly Place Future Harper Season 2, episode 37: "Future Harper"
2009 Ugly Betty Penny Meadows/Mindy Meadows Season 3, episode 24: "The Fall Issue"
Sherri Teacher Season 1, episode 13: "Indecision '09"
2010 Delocated Cellist Season 2, episode 4: "Mixer"
2010–2013 Fish Hooks Koi/Esmargot/Koi's Mom Voice role, 28 episodes
2011 Funny or Die Presents Dirkson 4 episodes in season 2 (2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9)
Lady Friends Lisa Unsold NBC Pilot
2012 Up All Night Linda Season 2, episode 3: "Swingers"
Suburgatory Paula Weingelb Season 2, episode 3: "The Witch of East Chatswin"
The Cleveland Show Maggie Season 4, episode 6: "'Tis the Cleveland to Be Sorry"
2013–2014 The Middle Principal Barker 2 episodes:
Season 5, episode 3: "The Potato"
Season 5, episode 12: "The Carpool"
2013–2014 The Awesomes Joyce Mandrake/Tom Boy Voice role
12 episodes; recurring role
2014–2016 Broad City Linda Lodi 3 episodes:
Season 1, episode 3: "Working Girls"
Season 3, episode 5: "2016"

Season 5, episode 2: "SheWork and S**t Bucket"

2014 The Neighbors Pearl Season 2, episode 18: "A Night in (Lou Ferrigno's Hibachi) Heaven"
Inside Amy Schumer Lisa Season 2, episode 4: "Boner Doctor"
Bob's Burgers Jodi/Abby Voice role, 3 episodes (seasons 4–5)
Dead Boss Christine Unsold Fox Pilot
2015 Parks and Recreation Roz Season 7, episode 7: Donna & Joe
Salem Rogers: Model of the Year 1998 Agatha Todd Lead role
2015–2021 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Guest Star Season 2, episode 25: Wanda Jo Oliver
Season 2, episode 26: Wanda Jo Oliver
Season 2, episode 35: Wanda Jo Oliver
Season 5, episode 7: Wanda Jo Oliver
Season 6, episode 2: Wanda Jo Oliver
Season 8, episode 17: Wanda Jo Oliver
2015 Unforgettable Rosie Webb Season 4, episode 2
2015–2016 Difficult People Chemo Woman
Casting Director
Season 1, episode 1
Season 2, episode 5
2016 The $100,000 Pyramid Herself (celebrity guest) Season 1, episode: Rachel Dratch vs. Ana Gasteyer
2016 The Simpsons Bostonian Doctor Episode "The Town"
2016-2017 Rachel Dratch's Late Night Snack Host
2017 Imaginary Mary Mary Voice role; lead role
Angie Tribeca Masha Chekhov 1 episode
Great News Mary-Kelly Episode: "Snowmageddon of the Century"
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Dianne/Leonora Episode: "Kimmy Googles the Internet!"
At Home with Amy Sedaris Florence Chervil Episode: "Entertaining for Peanuts"
Portlandia Fred's Wife Season 7, episode 5: "Amore"
2019 Teen Titans Go! Negative Girl 4 episodes
Shameless Paula Bitterman 4 episodes (Season 10)
2020 Blue's Clues & You! Herself Episode: "Happy Birthday, Blue!"
Harley Quinn Nora Fries, Queen Hippolyta Voice roles, 2 episodes
The Good Fight Linda Shuck Episode: "The Gang Offends Everyone"
2021 Mr. Mayor Ms. Adams Episode: "Pilot"
Bubble Guppies Alison Heart (voice) Episode: "Alison in Wonderland!"


Film work
Year Title Role Notes
1999 Serious Business Jude Rusell
2002 Martin & Orloff Southern Woman
2003 The Hebrew Hammer Tikva
Down With Love Gladys
National Lampoon's Barely Legal Mrs. Greitzer
Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star Reiner's Secretary
2004 Freshman Orientation Very Drunk Chick
Looking for Kitty Julie
2005 Her Minor Thing Caroline
Winter Passing Female MC
2006 Click Alan/Alice
The Pleasure Drivers Counter Monkey
2007 I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry Benefits Supervisor Sara Powers
2008 Bill Doctor Robardo Short Film
Harold Ms. Vicky Norris
2009 Spring Breakdown Judi Joskow Also a Writer and Producer
Love N' Dancing Kalle
I Hate Valentine's Day Kathy Jeemy
My Life in Ruins Kim Sawchuck
2011 Just Go with It Kirsten Brant
2012 Teacher of The Year Assistant Principal Short film
That's My Boy Phil's Wife
2013 Syrup Clerk
2014 A Little Game Aunt Diane
2015 The Grief of Others Madeleine Berkowitz
Sisters Kelly
2016 Hurricane Bianca Deborah Ward
Tracktown Gail
2018 The Week Of Debbie
Hurricane Bianca 2: From Russia with Hate Deborah Ward
2019 Little Agent Bea
Wine Country Rebecca
2021 Plan B Ms. Flaucher
2021 A Clüsterfünke Christmas Marga


Theater work
Year Title Role Notes
2010 Sylvia Sylvia George Street Playhouse, New Jersey
2013 Love's Labour's Lost Holofernes The Public Theater
2014–15 Tail! Spin! Various Roles Off-Broadway at the Lynn Redgrave Theater at the Culture Project
2016 Privacy Various Roles Off-Broadway at The Public Theater


Web work
Year Title Role Notes
2011 Submissions Only Fiona Evans Webseries
Season 1, episode 6: "Somethin' Else"
2015 The Dratchelor[20] Herself Funny Or Die web series


  1. ^ a b c d Gerri Miller (October 18, 2005). "Rachel Dratch". Archived from the original on October 18, 2005. Retrieved October 28, 2010. Raised in a Reform Jewish family, Dratch did have a Bat Mitzvah but does not consider herself to be observant. “It’s more a heritage thing, I guess,” she says of her relationship to her roots.
  2. ^ Aucoin, Don (February 18, 2000). "Live! From Lexington, It's Rachel Dratch". Boston Globe.
  3. ^ "Marriage Announcement 1 – No Title". Boston Globe. January 26, 1964.
  4. ^ Burstein, Nathan (April 28, 2012). "From 'SNL' to performing for the 'Tribe'". The Times of Israel. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
  5. ^ "RACHEL DRATCH on EMPLOYEE of the MONTH". SoundCloud.
  6. ^ Kristina, Dorsey (December 2010). "Live! From New Haven! It's Rachel Dratch in "Celebrity Autobiography"!". The Day.
  7. ^ Dratch, Rachel. (2012). Girl walks into a bar-- : comedy calamities, dating disasters, and a midlife miracle. New York: Gotham Books. ISBN 978-1-59240-711-8. OCLC 757469571.
  8. ^ Townsend, Tim (July 7, 2000). "Comic Duo Splits Sides". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  9. ^ Emmanuel, Greg (July 2000). "SNL's Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch have found a hilarious way to spend their summer vacations". Time Out New York: 77.
  10. ^ Billy Eichner (17 January 2010). "Billy Eichner – Empire State Of Mind – Forest Hills State of Mind with Rachel Dratch" – via YouTube.
  11. ^ Rosenblum, Emma (October 15, 2006). "Rachel Rolls With It". New York Mag.
  12. ^ Gostin, Nicki (April 3, 2012). "'Girl Walks Into A Bar': Rachel Dratch Talks Baby, Life After 'SNL'". Huffington Post. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  13. ^ SNL Archives | Cast Archived 2008-02-24 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
  14. ^ Turchiano, Danielle (February 3, 2018). "Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Andy Samberg Return to 'Saturday Night Live'". Variety. New York, NY: Variety Media, LLC.
  15. ^ "Kavanaugh Hearing Cold Open - SNL" – via www.youtube.com.
  16. ^ "2020 Democratic Debate - SNL" – via www.youtube.com.
  17. ^ Former 'Saturday Night Live' star Rachel Dratch welcomes first son Eli Benjamin, a September 8, 2010, article from the New York Daily News
  18. ^ "Rachel Dratch Reveals Her Son's Father". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved 2021-02-12.
  19. ^ Silman, Anna (2019-05-13). "Rachel Dratch Is Right Where She Wants to Be". The Cut. Retrieved 2020-09-12.
  20. ^ "The Dratchelor".

External links[edit]