On the back jacket of his new memoir, Darrell Hammond, one of Saturday Night Live‘s best political impersonators, writes: “I have to give the SNL crew props — it cannot have been easy to work with me. Over the years, the medication I was on included: Depacote, Lamictal, Zyprexa, Abilify, Zoloft, Ativan, Triavil, and Klonopin. I was drinking, doing coke, cutting myself in my dressing room. I was repeatedly shipped off to rehab or a psychiatric unit, and once taken out of the SNL offices in a straightjacket. But somehow, perhaps because I’m my father’s son after all, I was able to soldier on and perform. That is, until I wasn’t.”
It turns out the days of famously self-destructive SNL performers aren’t far in the past. In God, If You’re Not Up There, I’m F*cked, out Nov. 8, Hammond recalls some of his most detrimental behavior, and the tumultuous childhood he was trying to forget. The New York Post highlighted some of the most shocking revelations from the book:
- As recently as 2009, Hammond relapsed after having been to rehab. “I had the brilliant idea I should try crack,” he wrote. He also talks about time spent in a crack house in Harlem.
- In 1998, Hammond was escorted by the police out of the NBC infirmary to the hospital in a straightjacket. “My wife came but I didn’t recognize her,” he wrote.
- He kept a pint of Remy in his desk at work — the alcohol kept him from even more destructive behavior: “The drinking calmed my nerves and quieted the disturbing images that sprang into my head … when drinking didn’t work, I cut myself.”
- His drug use intensified in 2002. “I’d started adding an obscene amount of cocaine to my binges … I had to be creative about how I did it without other people catching on or letting it interfere with the work. At least too much.”
Some of the chapter titles are intriguing in themselves: “Blood on the Floor,” “What You Didn’t See,” “I’ll Show You Multiple Personality Disorder, Pal,” “I Saw What You Did, and I Know Who You Are,” and “My Welcome Outstayed Me.” Are you interested in reading more about Hammond?