Girl Walks into a Bar....Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle by Rachel Dratch:
When one of my favorite bloggers (link here) mentioned that she was reading this book, I knew I wanted to check it out. I love a good laugh, and former Saturday Night Live funny-woman Rachel Dratch has that in spades. Plus it seemed like a great book to read poolside - easy to pick up, put down and lighthearted - perfect for a summer day.
Well, the book never made it to the pool. I devoured it in less than a day over the weekend.
Even though I don't watch much (any) TV, I am vaguely familiar with Rachel Dratch. Like a lot of SNL regulars, she started off at Second City in Chicago, a popular improv group (I only know all this from Tina Fey, and her fabulous book, Bossypants). There are a lot of similarities between Dratch's book and Fey's book - both are comedy memoirs, both are funny, both give a behind-the-scenes look at Second City & SNL. But here's where their roads divide: Fey went on, post SNL, to write and star in the successful 30 Rock. Dratch sits at home and watches Judge Judy reruns.
While there are lots of funny parts in the book, and Dratch's writing is very humorous, there's also a bit of depressing sadness. Not being beautiful enough, not fitting in to the right groups, not knowing what to do with yourself when your dream job is over, not having any luck in the dating department - these are some themes that find their way into the story time and time again. So, apparently a comedian's life is not all fun and games. I really love how Dratch writes about these things so honestly, so straightforward. It's not wonder she has a lot of old, close friendships - she sounds like a very cool person.
The first part of the book chronicles her work life, and her rise to SNL. And, as she promises, the second part of the book is about Not Showbiz - mostly about her trials with dating. Cannibals, addicts (three of them, actually), no-calls - she tells you about them all. And then there's this really nice guy named John, whom she meets in a bar and starts up a bi-coastal romance. They enjoy a casual, fun relationship until.....a very unexpected development occurs. A development that will take 9 months to complete.
Life is full of ups and downs. One day, your pants split in front of a live audience (and you've gone commando), your boyfriend tells you how yummy horsemeat is, and your agent only calls with offers for obese lesbian parts in which you have to fly yourself to LA. But, as Dratch experiences, you learn that your friends have your back, and there are better things down the road towards career and love. Like a nice guy who turns out to be a great baby daddy. And a little guy named Eli with cute, tiny toes. And a book deal.
In the words of Rachel Dratch...."take that, Hollywood!"