Former “SNL” cast member Rachel Dratch has a memoir out, Girl Walks Into a Bar …, which means she’s doing the publicity circuit, which means there’s been a lot of talk about why her career stalled after she was booted from “30 Rock” in favor of Jane Krakowski. Dratch offers her own assessement:
I am offered solely the parts that I like to refer to as The Unf—ables. In reality, if you saw me walking down the street, you wouldn’t point at me and recoil and throw up and hide behind a shrub. But by Hollywood standards, I’m a troll, ogre, woodland creature, or manly lesbian. … Trolls, ogres, and woodland creatures can be done with CGI, so that leaves yours truly to play the bull dykes.
Jezebel, naturally, is outraged, arguing that there’s a double standard in Hollywood with regard to ugly people.
Dudes like Tim Allen, Bernie Mac, Drew Carey, Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Harvey and Kevin James all went from being stand-up comedians to having their very own sitcoms, despite not being typical heartthrobby leading man types. So where is Rachel Dratch’s Garry Shandling/Larry David-esque TV show?
Is that true? Yes, certainly to an extent. Less attractive women do have a more difficult time landing juicy roles in television and film, but it’s not unheard of. Kate Micucci — who is not traditionally attractive — has managed a decent career in Garfunkel and Oates, and lengthy stints on sitcoms like “Raising Hope” and “Scrubs,” while Kristen Schaal (“30 Rock,” “The Daily Show,” “Flight of the Conchords”) has managed the same. Lena Dunham, likewise, is suddenly the voice of a generation, thanks to her new show “Girls,” which debuted on HBO last night (and it is fantastic, and populated with awesome ladies, some of whom might qualify under Dratch’s “Unf___ables” category).
I don’t disagree with assessment, however. But I do think that Rachel Dratch is not a ideal poster girl for the argument. She was never that great in “SNL,” where her most popular character, Debbie Downer, was one note and that note wasn’t very funny. I’ve also seen “Spring Breakdown,” which Dratch may argue was shelved and eventually released straight-to-DVD because of Hollywood’s bias against the less attractive, but the reality is, Spring Breakdown — even with Amy Poehler and Parker Posey — was a dreadful, horrible movie.
I appreciate where Dratch is coming from, but Jezebel’s argument that she belongs in the same category as Larry David, Gary Shandling, or Jerry Seinfeld is ridiculous. Yes, they are not attractive men, but they are also very, very funny. Dratch, on her best day, is barely tolerable. Allow me, moreover, to present one very convincing argument against the inability of “Unf___ables” to land meaty roles: