We know Darrell Hammond as the wisecracking side-splitter who rose to prominence for his hilarious impressions of Bill Clinton, Sean Connery, Al Gore, and Chris Matthews on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. But when the curtains closed, the FunnyOrDie co-founder was battling a secret addiction to crack, powdered cocaine, and alcohol.
In fact, Darrell was about one public scandal and a half a pint of Tiger Blood away from becoming comedy’s answer to Charlie Sheen.
Hammond offers a glimpse into his private hell on the pages of his new memoir, God, If You’re Not Up There, I’m Fucked.
“I kept a pint of Remy in my desk at work. The drinking calmed my nerves and quieted the disturbing images that sprang into my head. When drinking didn’t work, I cut myself.”
Hammond says a childhood seeped in trauma led him to drink heavily. The alcoholism eventually prompted him to experiment with harder substances. When drinking didn’t work, Hammond turned to cutting himself. The comic recalls adding “an obscene amount of cocaine” to his binges in 2002. By his 14th season as a SNL castmember, he was smoking crack several times a day. Following a drinking binge in 1998, police took him to the NBC infirmary in a straitjacket.
“My wife came, but I didn’t recognize her…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…”
After months of treatment, Hammond broke free of drugs and earned raves doing the one-man play Tru in Sag Harbor this summer. Copies of God, If You’re Not Up There… were sent to SNL last week, but he’s waiting for a reaction for the team at the real-life 30 Rock.
“I don’t have anything bad to say about anyone there. They all really went above and beyond the call for me.”
Hammond’s tome arrives on booksellers’ shelves on Nov. 18.