Retta in 2012
April 12, 1970
|Alma mater||Duke University|
|Occupation||Actress, stand-up comedian|
|Known for||Parks and Recreation|
|Relatives||Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (aunt)|
Marietta Sirleaf (born April 12, 1970), better known simply as Retta, is an American stand-up comedian and actress. She is mainly known for her role as Donna Meagle on NBC's Parks and Recreation. She has appeared in several films and television shows, and has performed stand-up on Comedy Central's Premium Blend. She currently stars as Barbara in Bravo's Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce.
Retta started performing stand-up comedy in 1996, although she said she did not start "earning money" until 1998, when she began touring on the college circuit. Retta said she used to get "really nauseated" before a performance, but that the feeling passed with experience. Retta has said her stand-up material tends to be slightly embellished stories from her regular everyday life, family, and friends. Retta has stated she would give up stand-up comedy for a full-time acting career if possible: "I'm not married to stand-up, just because it's a road thing. It's very lonely with all the traveling."
Retta has served as the opening act for such comedians as Shirley Hemphill and Bobby Collins. She has made television appearances on Bravo's Welcome to the Parker, E! Entertainment Television's The Soup, Freddie, Moesha, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the "Comedy Divas Showcase" segment of The Jenny Jones Show, Retta has performed on Premium Blend, a Comedy Central show featuring up-and-coming comedians.
In 2009, Retta started making regular guest appearances on the NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation as Donna Meagle, an employee in the Parks Department of the fictional town, Pawnee, Indiana. During a stand-up performance at the University of Illinois at Springfield, Retta said the acting job on the show was stressful because it was unclear how long the show would stay on the air, due to the poor reviews it received during the first season. Alan Sepinwall, a television columnist with The Star-Ledger, said season 2 episodes of Parks and Recreation afforded more personality and funnier jokes to Donna and other minor characters. She was upgraded to a full-time regular cast member in the third season.
Retta also hosted the 3rd Critics' Choice Television Awards in 2013. In 2014, she appeared on Hollywood Game Night as a contestant along with the other celebrities Paget Brewster, Michael Chiklis, Mario Lopez, Thomas Lennon, and Alyssa Milano.
In 2015, Retta was one of the audiobook narrators for Welcome to Night Vale, a novel tie-in to the eponymous podcast series. The same year she appeared in season 2 of Bravo's Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce.
|2003||Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star||Sad Eye Sadie|
|2007||Fracture||Evidence Room Cop|
|2007||Sex and Death 101||Ethel|
|2015||Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip||Party Planner|
|2016||Operator||Pauline 'Roger' Rogers|
|2016||Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life||Ida Stricker|
|2017||To the Bone||Lobo|
|2005||Freddie||Joan||Episode: "Rich Man, Poor Girl"|
|2006||Rodney||Tanya Evans||Episode: "When Rodney Comes Marching Home"|
|2008||It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia||Hardware Store Clerk||Episode: "The Gang Gets Extreme: Home Makeover Edition"|
|2009–15||Parks and Recreation||Donna Meagle||120 episodes|
|2009||Jimmy Kimmel Live!||Heckler||Episode: "#7.46"|
|2014||Kroll Show||TSA #1||Episode: "Krolling Around with Nick Klown"|
|2014||Drunk History||Sylvia Robinson||Episode: "American Music"|
|2014||Key & Peele||The Woman||Episode: "Sex Addict Wendell"|
|2015–present||Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce||Barbara||Recurring Season 2; Series regular Season 3–present|
|2015||Kroll Show||Lara||Episode: "Body Bouncers"|
- Retta - Donna Meagle Parks and Recreation, NBC.com
- Chaney, Jen (October 7, 2011). "What’s the connection between a Nobel Prize winner and ‘Parks and Recreation’?". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
- Sangweni, Yolanda (September 12, 2012). "7 Reasons You Should Know Parks and Recreation Star Retta". Essence. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
- Azzi, Amy (January 28, 2009). "Comedian took long route to comedy". Royal Purple News. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Retrieved November 17, 2009.[permanent dead link]
- Eells, Kelly Feser (June 6, 2003). "T-150 seats down for stand-up guys". Ojai Valley News. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved November 17, 2009.
- Dunn, Valeree (October 14, 2009). "Performer Spotlight on... Retta". UIS Journal. Archived from the original on April 24, 2011. Retrieved November 17, 2009.
- Haynes, Robert (November 17, 2009). "Comedian Retta brings glee to bear country". The Echo. University of Central Arkansas.
- Ory, Marie (March 15, 2001). "Laughter -- the medicine of life". The Nicholls Worth. Retrieved November 17, 2009.[permanent dead link]
- Sepinwall, Alan (November 5, 2009). "Parks and Recreation, "Ron and Tammy": Megan Mullally guests". The Star-Ledger. New Jersey On-Line. Retrieved November 6, 2009.
- Feuer, Ryan (16 July 2015). "Comedian Retta talks Jersey roots, 'Parks and Rec' and 'Geeks Who Drink'". Nj.com. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
- "Awards News: Critics' Choice Nominations". CBS. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
- Snetiker, Marc (15 January 2014). "Retta takes on Mario Lopez in the Olympics on 'Hollywood Game Night' -- EXCLUSIVE". Ew.com. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
- "Retta: How I Became a Hockey Fan". Retrieved 9 December 2016.
- "Hey, Retta, this Tumblr is teaching you all about hockey". 15 April 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
- "How I Became a Hockey Fan". 11 May 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
- "NHL Awards 2015". Retrieved 9 December 2016.
- "NHL releases lineup of presenters and performers for awards show". Retrieved 9 December 2016.