SNL Initially Rejected Rachel Dratch Because They Had Enough Ladies [Update]

Illustration for article titled emSNL/em Initially Rejected Rachel Dratch Because They Had Enough Ladies [Update]

The New York Times' Dave Itzkoff has published an extensive look at the relative horror it is to audition for NBC's Saturday Night Live and its creator, notably weird, opinionated and enigmatic dude Lorne Michaels. If you like SNL, it's something to sink your teeth into; if you don't, it's another indication that being a woman on the show definitely used to suck a bit.

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Rachel Dratch first auditioned for SNL in the late '90s, joining the cast in 1999. Of the experience, she told the Times:

I didn’t get it that year [of her first audition]. They hired Horatio [Sanz], Jimmy [Fallon] and Chris Parnell, and they said: "We're not taking any women this year. But maybe next year." I was at peace with it.

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In an interview with The A.V. Club from last year, Dratch said that when she first started doing comedy in Chicago, she felt like being a woman was a good thing:

One thing I noticed when I first moved to Chicago was that the teams were like you said, seven guys and one woman. Actually, it was kind of an advantage, because women were always in demand to improvise, and so if you were kind of good, you could get a lot of stage time, as opposed to if you were, like, the 80th white dude there. So I think it kind of ended up giving me more stage experience, and then you get better and better. It’s sort of the anti-vicious cycle. I don’t know what you call that: the miraculous cycle.

Update:

Dratch has tweeted to clarify her comments:

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Screenshot via SNL

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DISCUSSION

katedries
Kate Dries

Just a note: the year that Dratch is talking about (season 24; she joined in season 25), this was the SNL cast line-up. It included 9 men and 3 women:

Repertory players

6 Men: Will Ferrell, Darrell Hammond, Chris Kattan, Tim Meadows, Tracy Morgan, Colin Quinn

3 women: Anna Gasteyer, Cheri Oteri, Molly Shannon

Featured players

3 men: Jimmy Fallon, Chris Parnell, Horatio Sanz

When Dratch joined, the line-up had 9 men and 5 women:

Repertory Players

9 men: Jimmy Fallon, Will Ferrell, Darrell Hammond, Chris Kattan, Tim Meadows, Tracy Morgan, Chris Parnell, Colin Quinn, Horatio Sanz

3 women: Ana Gasteyer, Cheri Oteri, Molly Shannon

Featured players

2 women: Rachel Dratch, Maya Rudolph