Girl Walks Into a Bar by Rachel Dratch (audiobook): Review

girlwalksintoabarRachel Dratch is probably best known for her SNL character Debbie Downer. I know I always think of her when someone says something really depressing out of the blue. After she left SNL, she found it difficult to find roles. Most that were available to her were what she calls “the unfuckables”, not the kind of roles she wanted. Since her career wasn’t going anywhere, she decided to tackle her personal life. Many a bad date occurred before, at the age of 44, she found herself pregnant.

Girl Walks Into a Bar is an explanation to the question Rachel often gets: “What are you doing now? Why don’t I see you on TV anymore?” First, she tells the story of how she got to be on SNL, which is unsurprisingly is a lot like Tina Fey’s experience, except Tina was a writer first. Unlike Tina, Rachel’s story takes a different turn after SNL. Where Tina went on to create her own show and host the Golden Globes, Rachel spent a lot of time waiting for the phone to ring.

Instead of focusing on her not-career, Rachel tells dating anecdotes, which are more cringe worthy than funny. Probably the best parts of Girl Walks Into a Bar are her pregnancy and parenting tales. Rachel met a nice guy, things were going along very well, until after 6 months of dating, she found out she was pregnant. This wasn’t something she expected at 44 years of age. Now she was bound to this guy she didn’t know all that well. For his part, John, her boyfriend, moved across the country to be close to her and the baby. She could have done way worse!

rachel dratch
She thought this line would jinx her.

I found the beginning parts of Girl Walks Into a Bar to be on the dry side, but by the end I had warmed up to Rachel. In fact, I really wished she had told more parenting stories. She was getting into her groove at that point and then just stopped. I came away liking Rachel a lot more than I did before. I had seen her on shows in small roles here and there and always enjoyed her but now, like on Sunday when I heard her voice on Bob’s Burgers, I’ll say to myself, “Oh that’s Rachel! Good for her, she found some work!”

About the Audio: Rachel narrates the book herself. I like when memoirists do this. It makes the reading much more personal. It was like having a friend catching you up on all the stuff that’s happened to her since you last met.


  1. I did wonder what happened to her. She was always pretty funny on SNL. I will have to add this to my wish list. :)

    1. She played a lot of funny parts, which I had forgotten about. Glad you want to read it!

  2. I know who Debbie Downer is but have never really seen her. This sounds amusing.

  3. I didn't realize she had a book out. It sounds good and the audio with her reading it sounds even better.

  4. I never knew the phrase Debbie Downer came from SNL! That show came on too late for me even when I was younger, and I only saw it a few times. I listened to Bossypants on audio read by Tina Fey (you probably did, too) and enjoyed the parts about her as a mother more than the career parts.

  5. I haven't watched Saturday Night Live in decades, but it sure does chew up comedians quickly. I think the large majority of people who have been cast members didn't go on to do much afterwards. Many stand out, sure but most faded away.


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