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Rachel Dratch recalls having to imitate Barbara Walters to her face: 'I don't know that she liked that'

The "SNL" star got an awkward request while appearing on Walters' talk show "The View.'

Remember the time when Barbara Walters met "Barbara Walters" on The View? Rachel Dratch certainly does.

In a new podcast interview, the former Saturday Night Live cast member looked back on the awkward moment when she was asked to do her impression of the legendary newswoman to her face. And in Dratch's recollection, Walters didn't exactly love it.

"Once on The View, they're like, 'We're going to have you imitate Barbara Walters," like next to her or something," Dratch told Jesse Tyler Ferguson while appearing on his podcast Dinner's On Me. "And I was like, 'Is she okay with this?' You know?"

<p>Dana Edelson/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty; Kevin Mazur/Getty</p> Rachel Dratch and Barbara Walters

Dana Edelson/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty; Kevin Mazur/Getty

Rachel Dratch and Barbara Walters

Dratch continued, "I couldn't quite tell if she was okay. I got the feeling she was not, but it wasn't like, it wasn't the Gilda Radner [impression], like it wasn't going to insult anyone. But, um, anyway, I don't know that she liked that so much."

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The comedian was of course referring to Radner's infamous SNL impression of the journalist as "Barbara Wawa"; Dratch's version was a bit less pointed. Walters, who died in 2022, was frequently spoofed on the NBC sketch show over the years, with Cheri Oteri, Michaela Watkins, and Nasim Pedrad also performing renditions.

Last year, Watkins herself appeared on The View and told a story about dodging Walters in a stadium bathroom line because she was afraid of Walters' potential reaction to seeing her. "I just sort of hid, because I don't think people necessarily like you doing impressions," she said. "I don't know how she'd feel about it, and so I just sort of like, ducked down into the back of the line."

View cohost Whoopi Goldberg told Watson, "I do believe that was one [impression] she did like," while Joy Behar chimed in, "She didn't like the one that Gilda Radner did, where they called her 'Baba Wawa,' she didn't like that because it was making fun of her speech defect. But her daughter said, 'Get over it, Mom,' and then she got over it."

Meanwhile, Oteri has said that impersonating Waters was "such an honor."

Walters was imitated so many times on SNL that back in 2014, when Walters appeared on the show ahead of her retirement from The View, Cecily Strong surprised her with a montage of the various parodies from over the years.

"Cecily, thank you for that… uh… tribute," Walters quipped. "What an honor it was to see my groundbreaking career in journalism reduced to a cartoon character with a ridiculous voice."

Listen to Dratch on Ferguson's podcast above.

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