'SNL': Rachel Dratch's Debbie Downer Welcomed Back Amid Coronavirus Fears

Rachel Dratch reprised one of her classic roles for a Coronavirus skit on this weekend's Saturday Night Live. The comedian played Debbie Downer attending a wedding reception in the midst of the outbreak, and as expected, she brought down the mood. For fans at home, however, she was a welcome sight.

Dratch officially left the cast of SNL in 2006, but she has never been far from the sketch show. In the last year and a half, she has appeared frequently to play Senator Amy Klobuchar, particularly during the 2020 presidential election.

This weekend was different, as Dratch played what is perhaps her best-known character, Debbie Downer. She was the perfect person to take on the coronavirus outbreak on the sketch show, as she had nothing but bad news to share.

Debbie came in strong in the skit, finding her table at a wedding reception while wearing a fully sealed gas mask. She agreed to give it up after the others at her table — host Daniel Craig and cast members Aidy Bryant, Melissa Villasenor and Kenan Thompson — assured her they were not sick. Plus, she needed to be able to eat.

"Unfortunately, with COVID-19, you can display no symptoms and still be wildly contagious," she informed them.

The show even brought back Debbie's classic theme song intro, complete with pictures of Dratch in 2004 when the character was first introduced. A lot has changed since then, however, and Debbie was able to touch on the Me Too movement, President Donald Trump, the endangerment of honey bees and other controversial topics.

As exciting as the comeback was, it did not go far, with just over four minutes of screen time. After making her own table uncomfortable, Debbie paid a brief visit to the bride and groom before returning for dinner and going out on a sour note.

Dratch has revived Debbie Downer two other times since leaving SNL. In 2010, she appeared in an episode hosted by Betty White, revealing that she had a gluten allergy long before it was common. In 2015, she played Debbie in SNL's 40th anniversary special, but there she got just one quick line rather than a whole sketch.


Overall, this weekend's SNL got middling reviews from fans and casual viewers alike. The Debbie Downer skit got off easy compared to criticisms of Craig's opening monologue, the appearance of Senator Elizabeth Warren and the sour tone of the "Weekend Update" segment.

SNL will now take two weeks off before it returns on Saturday, March 28 with host John Krasinksi and musical guest Dua Lipa on NBC.