Specifically, it was optioned by then-Saturday Night Live star Kristen Wiig, one of the biggest names in comedy at the time, with an elastic face and gift for exaggerated pathos seemingly custom-made to play the title character of Drake's book—a love-bruised clown on the gritty streets of Baloneytown, wrapped up in the dirty world of corporate clowning.
On a piece published this week in Longreads yesterday, Drake describes the experience of having her book optioned by "Miss Hollywood," who works on a sketch comedy show in New York and was named one of PETA's sexiest vegetarians.
Drake declines to name Wiig in the piece, but it's also pretty clearly Wiig she's describing. Wiig was apparently in Portland shooting a Portlandia sketch when she asked to meet Drake.
"The actress, the beauty, Miss Hollywood, was seated at a table outside next to Fred Armisen. I saw their backs first. Closer, I saw they were eating an unrecognizable meal out of small bowls, some sexy superstar vegan food was my guess," Drake writes. "We went downstairs into the dark and empty basement of the Doug Fir. It was the middle of the day. The basement was like a place a preteen would host a make out party, dark and abandoned as an unused rec room. We sat together on a low wall. And there in the dark the actress leaned in and said the kindest, most generous things about Clown Girl."
Though Drake did receive a movie option, no movie came of this meeting. Drake wistfully notes a similar show, which clearly describes Zach Galifianakis clown vehicle Baskets—which shares a showrunner with Portlandia—that did get made.
"Oddly, the actress's colleagues—friends I'd call them, though I don't know the intricacies of all that—eventually made a show, about a clown and high art, a clown for whom clown work is more than a job, it's a calling, as with Clown Girl. The show runner was at the Doug Fir, the day we met up. The actress isn't part of that show, though she knows the players. I've been told it's entirely coincidence."
Anyway, Drake's piece bears reading in full. It's right here.