During her days on Saturday Night Live from 1999 to 2006, comedian Rachel Dratch was known for portraying a wide variety of characters, from Debbie Downer to Sheldon (on Wake Up, Wakefield). But once Dratch, 46, left the popular late night sketch show, the variety of the characters she played dwindled to one type — and not exactly by choice.

“In the sketch world, you can play any part whatsoever, but when you get out of sketch land (a.k.a. SNL) then you’re in the world of Hollywood,” Dratch, who has a new book out called Girl Walks Into A Bar…, explained in our exclusive interview. “I sort of thought that I would play the wacky best friend but what I found was that I was sort of too odd to play even the wacky best friend. I kept getting the weird secretary, which is fine.”

Then, Dratch started to notice that many of the parts she was auditioning for were increasingly, offensively stereotypical. “But then I kept on getting — and I am not making this up — but every part was a lesbian,” she said. “And as I make very clear in the book, I know lesbians come in all shapes, sizes and varieties of hotness. I know there are hot lesbians out there. I was not getting called in for the hot lesbian. I was getting called in for the obese, 55-year-old, manly lesbian.”

Dratch added that her sense of humor served her well during this puzzling time in her career. “It almost became a joke with my agent, but there’s not a lot of calls for those ladies in Hollywood either, so it was kind of few and far between,” she said, seeming wistful for more work, no matter what kind.

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