The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Rachel Dratch

b. February 22, 1966

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Rachel Dratch until we are able to commission a full entry.

Rachel Dratch at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival.

Comedian Rachel Dratch has built a career out of her ability to embody outrageous characters.Dratch’s passion for comedy began in her youth, when she participated in school plays, favoring comedies over dramas. She studied psychology and drama at Dartmouth College, graduating in 1988. From 1995 to 1998, she performed with Chicago’s famous improv comedy troupe, The Second City, for which she received a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Actress in a Revue in 1997. In 1999, Dratch joined the cast of Saturday Night Live (SNL), where she showed her versatility as an actor through both impersonating famous figures and creating her own idiosyncratic characters, such as “Debbie Downer.” By the time she left the show in 2006, she had become one of SNL’s longest-running female cast members. Dratch has since made guest appearances on numerous television shows and in several movies, and in 2012, she published a memoir entitled Girl Walks Into a Bar.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rachel Dratch." (Viewed on September 21, 2021) <>.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox