Retta from Parks and Recreation

March 4, 2012 – She’s hilarious and she is a bonafide scene stealer as Donna on NBC’s hit show, Parks and Recreation and this week we have her live in the studio! We are excited to welcome stand up comedienne and actress, Retta!

Click here to view The Best of Donna.

If you would like to submit questions for Retta to be read on the air, just leave them in the comment section of this post and then listen in live this Sunday at 5pm pst/ 8pm est by clicking here.

Click here to preview Retta’s big reveal on an upcoming episode of Parks and RecreationRetta, born Marietta Sirleaf to immigrant parents from Liberia (yes, she is related to Liberia’s first female president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf) grew up in NJ. An honor student with memberships in every academic club and student government group she could get her hands on, Retta was well on her way to becoming a cliché. But upon graduating pre-med from Duke University with a degree in Sociology, Retta decided to take a year off before medical school and worked as a contract chemist for GlaxoSmithKline.

While working on the development of the drug Combivir, she decided pharmaceuticals/medicine wasn’t her calling. She wanted her own sitcom. Realizing there were several sitcom stars that started as comedians (Roseanne, Drew Carrey, Tim Allen, Brett Butler) she began doing stand-up at Charlie Goodnights in Raleigh NC. Having tasted some comedy success and coming to grips with the fact that there were no sitcoms to be had in North Carolina, she decided to move to LA.

Retta started performing at open mics all over the Los Angeles and eventually started showcasing for NACA (National Association for Campus Activities). She became a must-see act on the college circuit and soon was nominated for female comedian of the year by Campus Activities Magazine. She was Comedy Central’s first winner of their Laugh Riots Stand-Up Competition which led to an appearance on the New Faces Showcase at Montreal’s “Just For Laughs” Comedy Festival. This performance led to a development deal with ABC/Disney. Retta was featured in Essence Magazine’s as one of 2005 Class Clowns alongside Sherri Shepherd and Niecy Nash and again in 2010 with Craig Robinson and Brandon T. Jackson.

Retta’s television appearances include “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”, “Jimmy Kimmel Live”, “Freddie”, “Comics Unleashed”, “The Soup”, Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend” and “Comedy Central Presents . . . Retta”. Her film credits include “Fracture” with Anthony Hopkins, “First Sunday” with Ice Cube and Katt Williams, “Sex & Death 101” with Simon Baker, and “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star” with David Spade. She currently appears as Donna Meagle the office “Been There Done That” diva on NBC’s “Parks & Recreation.”

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7 thoughts on “Retta from Parks and Recreation

  1. You’re hilarious on Parks and Rec! Tom and Donna love to treat themselves, what are some ways you like to treat yourself?

  2. Does Retta have a few guys in rotation? Is there one in the car right now? And did she remember to crack the window?

  3. A question for one of my favorite people on TV, Retta: If you had to do it all over again, would you take that year off school?

  4. I follow you on Twitter and I must say you are hilarious!
    I have found inspiration in what your aunt as done for the people of Liberia. Has your aunt’s work helped form your life in any way? What did you think when she won the Nobel Prize?
    2. What is the best part of working with the cast and crew of Parks and Recreation. Could you see anyone besides Amy Poehler in the roles of Leslie Knope?
    3. If you could choose what happens to Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt, what would it be?

  5. what advice do you have for young people who are deciding between a practical career or pursuing their unpractical dreams?

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