The Must List 2004

SNL's Debbie Downer

The frumpy pessimist on ''SNL'' -- Debbie Downer -- The Must List 2004

NAME Rachel Dratch
AGE 38
MUSTWORTHINESS For giving us the funniest TV moment all year with the May 1 ''SNL'' skit ''Debbie Downer,'' about a frowny frump who ruins her family's trip to Disney World with an impressive array of conversation-killing asides (i.e., ''Did you guys hear about that train explosion in northern Korea?'') -- punctuated by wah-wah trumpet refrains. But what elevated Debbie from funny to you gotta see this classic was the inability of the cast (Jimmy Fallon, Amy Poehler, Horatio Sanz, Fred Armisen, and host Lindsay Lohan) to keep a straight face; it started as a tiny lip quiver from Dratch and devolved into a tear-spouting, shoulder-shaking riot.
SERIOUSLY, WHAT HAPPENED? ''I don't really know,'' admits Dratch, who cowrote the sketch with Paula Pell. ''I was freaking out in my head, like, Get it together! The worst was when I had to say, 'It's official -- I can't have children.' I was like, Stick the landing! But I just couldn't. I was looking at Jimmy like, 'Help me!'''
DEBBIE DOWNER: THE MOVIE. DISCUSS. ''Of course I'd want to be in a movie,'' jokes Dratch. ''I'll start thinking about it.''
ON HER MUST LIST ''Bill Murray, because he made the crossover. He's sort of an idol for all of us on 'SNL.'''
NEXT Both Dratch and Ms. Downer return to ''SNL'' next season. ''Hopefully I'll be able to keep a straight face this time.'' Wah-wah!

Originally posted Jun 25, 2004 Published in issue #771-772 Jun 25, 2004 Order article reprints