Rachel Dratch became a mom at 43 but she refused to reveal her son’s father – here’s why

Rachel Dratch is probably best known for playing Debbie Downer and Sen. Amy Klobuchar on Saturday Night Live.

But the comedian wasn’t meaning to be funny when she kept mum about the identity of her son’s dad…

Rachel Dratch, now 54, started her career as a member of the mainstage cast in Chicago’s Second City. In 1999, she joined long-time friends Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, both whom she worked with at Second City, on the cast of Saturday Night Live, where she played the buzzkill character Debbie Downer, a role she continues to reprise in guest appearances.

While Fey and Poehler reached mega stardom post SNL, Dratch continued to play smaller roles.

 “Things are happening, and I know things are happening, but since I’m not starring on a show the rest of the world is saying: Oh, we miss you, what happened? It’s like — I’m good,” The SNL alum said.

Dratch’s seven-year tenure at SNL marked a peak in her professional career, but the subsequent years were far from prosperous.

Rachel Dratch seen out and about in Manhattan on November 13, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)

Carving out a comfortable space as a comic, stage and screen and actor with recurring roles on TV series, like 30 Rock, with Fey and Alec Baldwin, Bob’s Burgers, and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. In 2022, Dratch appeared in her Tony-nominated role in the Broadway production of POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive.

”After SNL, I just had this major slow-down. It just kept on lasting. I kept thinking, ’Things will turn around, because they always doo’. But now I was three years out. I had little jobs here and there, but nothing steady,” Dratch told Valley News in 2012. 

Her film appearances include a starring role in The Week Of with Adam Sandler and 2019’s Wine Country, where she reunited with her SNL gal pals.

The film was inspired by a real-life trip to California wine country for Dratch’s booze-fuelled 50th birthday, that included the stars of the film, Poehler, Fey, Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer, Paula Pell, and Emily Spivey.

“The fact that it’s Netflix and it’s people who have already been in your living room makes it like comfort food. It’s the ladies! It’s like you’re going on a vacation with us,” Dratch says.

Through her 30s, the star knew she wanted a family but she admits to not being good with dating.


As the years inched closer to 40, Dratch, knew the chances of conceiving was slim and lost hope on having a husband and children.

But, in late 2009, she had a midlife miracle when she walked into a bar and met her boyfriend, John Wahl, a California-based food consultant. Six months later, at 43, she was shocked to learn she was pregnant.

“I had bought into all this stuff about, ‘Once you’re over 40…’’ said the Massachusetts native. “I’d gone through the whole process of letting go of [the idea of having kids].”

On August 24, 2010, baby Eli Benjamin (pics here) was born.

After giving birth to her baby, the then 43-year-old Saturday Night Live alum was caught in the middle of a media frenzy surrounding Eli’s “unknown” father, and only revealing that her pregnancy had a “crazy” story behind it only fuelled the wild rumors.

Keeping the identity of the baby’s father a secret from the prying public became tabloid fodder.

“People are expecting the craziest story,” Dratch shared with People. “I just meant it’s crazy for me!”

Shortly after Eli was born, Wahl moved to New York City to be closer to Dratch and his son, and the couple raised their baby together.

Wahl, who said he “completely floored” when he learned he was going to have a baby, told People: “[Rachel] was resigned to the fact that this wasn’t going to happen and had written it off. That may add to the adrenaline and euphoria and excitement.”

Dratch shares her story, in what she calls her “midlife miracle,” in her book “Girl Walks into a Bar…: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle.”

And Eli, who recently turned 13, frequently stars on his mother’s Instagram.

In 2019, the couple split but continue raising Eli together, and Dratch refocused her career priorities and devotes a lot of her time to being a hands-on parent. “Having a kid killed all that for me, in a good way for my emotional well-being.” she says.

“SNL was like the dream job, and that was such a crazy goal of mine, but then along came this other crazy goal which blindsided me. So for me, my suburban mom life is maybe a little more thrilling than it would be for someone else who was always on that path, and knew they were on that path.”

Happy birthday, Eli! From Rachel Dratch’s Instagram, it appears that little Eli is growing into an entertainer. We look forward to seeing what he does with his life!

If you found this article interesting, then you should definitely check out why Chris Evans never hosted ‘Saturday Night Live’ – the reason might surprise you


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