Hammond on stage, September 21, 2005
October 8, 1955 |
Melbourne, Florida, United States
Darrell Hammond (born October 8, 1955) is an American actor, stand-up comedian and impressionist. He was a regular on Saturday Night Live from 1995 until 2009, the longest tenure of any cast member in the show's history. Upon his departure, Hammond, at age 53, was also the oldest cast member in the show's history. Hammond has made more SNL appearances than any other cast member and has impersonated more than 107 celebrities, with Bill Clinton as his most frequent impression. Hammond held the record for most impressions done by a cast member with 107, until being beaten by Kenan Thompson on May 3, 2014. As of December 10, 2011, he had appeared on the show eight times since leaving the cast. On September 19, 2014, Hammond was announced as the new announcer of SNL, replacing Don Pardo, who had died the month before.
Hammond was born in Melbourne, Florida, the son of Margaret and Max Hammond. He played baseball in high school and at Brevard Community College. He went on to attend the University of Florida, where he graduated in 1978 with a degree in advertising and a 2.1 GPA. He credits UF theater professor David Shelton for encouraging his work. After completing college, Hammond moved to New York City where he worked as a waiter, studied at HB Studio, did roles in theater productions, performed one set at a comedy club at age 26, and then returned to Florida, where he became a voiceover artist in the Orlando area.
Saturday Night Live
During the 2004–2005 season, Hammond set the record for the longest consecutive tenure of any SNL cast member in the show's history. He also holds SNL records for the second most impressions by a single cast member (107, as of the Zac Efron/Yeah Yeah Yeahs episode), beat only by cast member Kenan Thompson, who holds a record of 108, and also for the most times saying the show's catchphrase "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!" to start the show (70 times, beating out Dana Carvey).
He is best known on the show for impersonating Bill Clinton, as well as Al Gore, Donald Trump, John McCain, Regis Philbin, Dick Cheney, Chris Matthews, Phil Donahue, Phil McGraw, Ted Koppel, John Travolta, Jesse Jackson, Geraldo Rivera, and Sean Connery, in the recurring "Celebrity Jeopardy!" skits. Hammond also impersonated SNL announcer Don Pardo, filling in for Pardo on occasions when the announcer was unavailable.
After the end of the 34th season, Hammond retired from the show after a record-breaking 14 years as a repertory player. Hammond was the last SNL cast member from the 1990s to leave the show. After leaving the show, he has made multiple cameo appearances. Hammond also holds the record for most shows of any SNL cast member, 280 (272 as a cast member and 8 cameos since).
It was announced on September 18, 2014 that Hammond would take over the announcer role on SNL starting with the 40th season premiere of the show on September 27, 2014. Hammond replaces Pardo, who died in 2014.
In the late 1980s, Hammond gained fame for his impersonations of Elmer Fudd and other Looney Tunes characters in the comedy single "Wappin'". The song was so popular with Dr. Demento listeners, it was included on the show's 20th-anniversary compilation.
Hammond is a frequent guest on The Howard Stern Show. He has also guest-starred in episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. He had his own stand-up comedy special on Comedy Central: Comedy Central Presents Darrell Hammond. Hammond can frequently be seen at The Comedy Cellar in New York City.
In the summer of 2007, Hammond made his Broadway theatre debut, playing the role of Vice Principal Douglas Panch in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. In 2009, Hammond had a guest starring role on the FX drama Damages. The same summer, Hammond appeared with Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, and Donald Trump in an Oreo commercial, where he does an impression of Trump.
Hammond married his wife, Elizabeth, on May 9, 1990. The couple divorced in the early 1990s and remarried in 1997. They have a daughter named Mia who was born in 1998. During a February 7, 2012 appearance on the Imus in the Morning radio program, Hammond revealed that the couple is in the process of divorcing. Hammond was seen with another woman several times in May and June 2011, prompting speculation about their marriage.
Hammond has admitted to struggling with alcoholism and cocaine abuse. The death of a close friend in 1991 led to a relapse of drug and alcohol abuse. After suffering another relapse in 2009, Hammond went to rehab.
In August 2011, Hammond filed a lawsuit against Jose Mendez and Dona Monteleone after a car accident in which he was the passenger. Monteleone, who was driving Hammond's vehicle at the time of the accident, is a Manhattan real estate agent.
During an October 2011 interview with CNN, Hammond revealed that his mother had brutally abused him during his childhood. This trauma from abuse led to cutting, several hospitalizations due to psychiatric issues, and diagnoses which include bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and borderline personality disorder. Hammond says that he was medicated throughout his tenure on Saturday Night Live, and that he cut himself backstage and was once taken from the studio to a psychiatric ward.
On November 8, 2011, Hammond's memoir, God, If You're Not Up There, I'm F*cked, was published by Harper Collins. It is a firsthand account of his abusive childhood, psychiatric issues, struggles with substance abuse, and experiences on Saturday Night Live.
One evening, while the boat was docked in the Bahamas, Hammond visited a restaurant, where he consumed the equivalent of 16 shots of rum. He claimed that a man repeatedly pestered him throughout the evening to take a dollar bill with trace amounts of cocaine on it. When the comedian left the bar to use the restroom, the man followed him into the stall and told him, "I think you should take this with you." Believing he was about to be mugged, he relented, and the man placed the bill inside Hammond's pocket. Local police were waiting outside the restroom and quickly arrested him. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration later told Hammond that the episode had been a setup, and that local authorities regularly entrapped American tourists; he spent a weekend in a crude jail cell. Hammond was released after his father traveled to the Bahamas and paid $5,000 for his son's release.
Hammond first publicly mentioned the incident while acting as a guest on a 1997 episode of the radio show Loveline; the story was again referenced when he returned to Loveline in 2000 and 2004, as well as during an appearance on the Opie & Anthony show in 2012. Tina Fey and Tim Meadows, two friends and coworkers of Hammond's, said in 2004 they had not previously heard the story.
- Celtic Pride (1996)
- Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)
- The King and I (1999) (voice)
- The Devil and Daniel Webster (2001)
- Scary Movie 3 (2003)
- Agent Cody Banks (2003)
- New York Minute (2004)
- Ira and Abby (2006)
- Puff Puff Pass (2006)
- Kiss Me Again (2006)
- Netherbeast Incorporated (2007)
- Epic Movie (2007)
- Wieners (2008)
- Buzzkill (2008)
- Scary Movie 5 (2013)
- "Darrell Hammond Biography". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
- "SNL Archives | Cast". Snl.jt.org. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
- Carter, Bill (September 18, 2014). "Darrell Hammond to Replace Don Pardo as the Announcer for ‘Saturday Night Live’". New York Times.
- "Great Impressions: Darrell Hammond | Florida Magazine". Magazine.ufl.edu. 2011-11-16. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
- "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
- "Florida Marriage Collection 1927-2001". Ancestry.com.
- "Darrell Hammond on Developing a Character - Imus Extras - Imus In The Morning". Imus.com. 2012-02-07. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
- "Darrell Hammond Biography - Facts, Birthday, Life Story". Biography.com. 1955-10-08. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
- "E News". Ex-SNL Star Darrell Hammond on His Shocking Drug Past: "I Had the Brilliant Idea I Should Try Crack. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
- Darrell Hammond: 12 Years On SNL - Darrell Hammond, Craveonline.com
- Martinez, Jose (August 29, 2011). "Ex-'SNL' star Darrell Hammond sues drivers over Long Island car crash". Daily News (New York).
- "Hammond’s Troubled Voice Comes Clear". 13 December 2011. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
- "CNN". 'SNL's' Darrell Hammond reveals dark past of abuse. October 25, 2011. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
- llarchive.com page for Loveline episode: "1997-1x-xx, Guest - Darrell Hammond."
- llarchive.com page for Loveline episode: "2000-05-31, Guest - Darrell Hammond."
- mediafire.com page for Loveline episode: "2004-06-07, Guest - Darrell Hammond."
- llarchive.com page for Loveline episode: "2004-04-18, Guest: Tim Meadows and Tina Fey."[dead link]
- "Buzzkill - The Movie". Secondcity.com. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
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2014 – present