Retta is an American stand-up comedian and actress who has appeared in many films and television shows, including Ruby on the TV show Good Girls, Donna Meagle on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, and Ruby on Comedy Central’s Premium Blend. She is now seen on NBC’s Good Girls as Ruby Hill.
Retta earned her high school diploma from Matawan Regional High School in Aberdeen Township, New Jersey, in 1988. Retta graduated from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, in 1992, with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a pre-medical degree.
Retta was raised in the New Apostolic Church and is a devout follower. Her desire to make others laugh was evident even when she was a young member of her church’s youth group. When Retta participated in her first comedy competition on television, members of the New Apostolic Church from all over the world voted for her. As a result, she was able to win the competition and advance her career. She listed her religion and spiritual upbringing in that competition.
She worked as a chemist after graduating from Duke. She used to do stand-up at Charlie Goodnights Comedy Club in Raleigh, North Carolina, in her spare time. She eventually relocated to Los Angeles to pursue a comedy career. She said on Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! that she wanted to call herself Retta rather than describe her name when she first began doing stand-up comedy.
She began performing standup in 1996, but she did not begin “earning money” until 1998 when she began touring the college circuit. Retta admitted that she used to get “very nauseated” before a show, but that the sensation faded with time.
She has stated that her stand-up routines are based on slightly embellished stories from her daily life, family, and friends. Retta has performed as the opening act for Shirley Hemphill and Bobby Collins, among others.
Retta has appeared on Premium Blend, a Comedy Central show featuring up-and-coming performers, as well as Bravo’s Welcome to the Parker, E! Entertainment Television’s The Soup, Freddie, Moesha, It’s Still Sunny in Philadelphia, the “Comedy Divas Showcase” segment of The Jenny Jones Show, and the “Comedy Divas Showcase” segment of The Jenny Jones Show.
She began making recurring guest appearances on the NBC comedy Parks and Recreation in 2009 as Donna Meagle, a Parks Department employee in the fictitious town of Pawnee, Indiana.
Retta said the acting work on the show was difficult because it was uncertain how long the show would remain on the air due to the negative reviews it got during its first season during a stand-up appearance at the University of Illinois at Springfield.
Season 2 episodes of Parks and Recreation, according to Alan Sepinwall, a television columnist for The Star-Ledger, gave Donna and other minor characters more personality and funnier jokes.
In the third season, she was promoted to a full-time regular cast member. In 2013, she hosted the third Critics’ Choice Television Awards. She appeared as a contestant on Hollywood Game Night in 2014, alongside Paget Brewster, Michael Chiklis, Mario Lopez, Thomas Lennon, and Alyssa Milano.
She was one of the audiobook narrators for Welcome to Night Vale, a novel that is a tie-in to the eponymous podcast series, in which she plays Old Woman Josie. She starred in season 2 of Bravo’s Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce the same year.
She starred alongside Christina Hendricks and Mae Whitman in the NBC series Good Girls in 2018. She released a collection of essays titled So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know in 2018.
Retta is 53 years old as of 2023. She was born on 12 April 1970 in Newark, New Jersey, United States. She celebrates her birthday on 12 April every year. Her birth name is Marietta Sangai Sirleaf.
Retta stands at a height of 5 feet 8 inches (in feet & inches).
Retta was born in Liberia and has Liberian ancestors. She grew up in and around Edison and Cliffwood Beach, New Jersey. She is the niece of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the former president of Liberia. She has managed to keep her personal life away from the limelight hence she has not disclosed any information about her parents. It is also not known if she has any siblings.
On Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!, she revealed that she dated a man from Georgia who dubbed her Retta because that’s how his hometown’s name, Marietta, sounded.
Retta Net Worth
Retta has an estimated net worth of $2 Million which she has earned through being a stand-up comedian and actress.
Retta earns a good salary. For example, depending on the location, such as Los Angeles, Chicago, or Vegas, the rate may be around $200 per hour or around $10,000 per week.
- 2019 Good Boys
- 2017 To the Bone
- 2017 Band Aid
- 2017 The Lego Ninjago Movie
- 2017 Where’s the Money
- 2017 Father Figures
- 2016 Other People
- 2016 Operator
- 2016 Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life
- 2015 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip
- 2014 Sex Ed
- 2008 First Sunday
- 2007 Fracture
- 2007 Sex and Death 101
- 2003 Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star
- 2002 Slackers
- 1998 Ringmaster
Retta TV Shows
- 2020 DuckTales
- 2020 Home Movie: The Princess Bride
- 2019 Pinky Malinky
- 2019 Where’s Waldo?
- 2019 Big Mouth
- 2018-present Good Girls
- 2015–18 Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce
- 2015 Kroll Show
- 2014 Kroll Show
- 2014 Drunk History
- 2014 Key & Peele
- 2009–15, 2020 Parks and Recreation
- 2009 Jimmy Kimmel Live!
- 2008 It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
- 2006 Rodney Tanya Evans
- 2005 Freddie