When they tune into the series premiere of ABC's Imaginary Mary, most viewers will immediately be able to recognize that the lead character, Alice, is played by TV icon Jenna Elfman, the former star of the network's long-running sitcom Dharma & Greg. However, they won't necessarily be able to divine the identity of the show's other lead character just by looking at her: a white and blue imaginary friend named Mary. So who voices Mary on Imaginary Mary?
If the pint-sized creature sounds familiar, there's a very good reason. Her vocal talents are provided by none other than famous funnywoman Rachel Dratch. After she made her start in the Chicago improv scene with famous troupes like Second City and ImprovOlympic, Dratch was scooped up by Saturday Night Live, where she was a main cast member from 2001-'06. The early aughts was an incomparable heyday for the sketch comedy series, with Dratch starring alongside such big names as Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Will Ferrell, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Tracy Morgan, Will Forte, Fred Armisen, and more. While on that show, she popularized a number of iconic characters, including Boston teenager Denise and — most famously — the perpetual buzzkill Debbie Downer.
Since leaving SNL, Dratch has guest starred on pretty much all of your favorite TV comedies including Ugly Betty, The Middle, Broad City, Inside Amy Schumer, Parks And Recreation, and 30 Rock, on which she made frequent guest appearances as a number of different characters, including her memorable parody of Barbara Walters on the hilarious episode "The Rural Juror."
She's been keeping busy outside of the world of TV as well. In the past several years, Dratch has published a book (the 2012 memoir Girl Walks Into A Bar…), appeared in movies (such as the 2015 Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy Sisters), and even starred in her own YouTube show (the FunnyorDie series The Dratchelor, on which she drinks wine and recaps episodes of The Bachelor).
Dratch's frequent guest starring work has even extended to cartoons like Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Cleveland Show, The Awesomes, Bob's Burgers, and The Simpsons — so she has had plenty of experience voicing animated characters before being cast as the imaginary Mary on Imaginary Mary.
You can hear Dratch's distinctive inflections coming out of the mouth of a furry little monster when the new ABC sitcom premieres this Wednesday, March 29, at 8:30 p.m. ET.