A sneak peek at Saturday Night Live and substance abuse

Many stars of Saturday Night Live – namely John Belushi and Chris Farley – had very public battles with substance abuse. But one name you may not expect on this list is Darrell Hammond. Yes, SNL’s oldest and longest-serving cast member (14 years) and the man famous for his perverted Sean Connery as well as Clinton, Gore, Cheney and Chris Matthews, reveals in his new memoir God If You’re Not Up There, I’m F*cked, that he was heavily medicated throughout most of his tenure and was once taken out of 30 Rock in a strait jacket.

The memoir is starkly honest and Hammond speaks as he feels; as a result, there is some colourful language. But Hammond’s nature fills the book with many humorous moments, both subtle and overt, and allows the reader to laugh with him at his many misfortunes. Shifting back and forth between rehab and SNL and touring, Hammond’s journey is quite remarkable.

Hammond knows very well that could suffer another relapse and go off the deep end. But he also states that he is enjoying life more now than ever before, maybe because he has finally left SNL (although he has had seven guest appearances since). He states that he has gone back to his roots in dramatic theatre, even performing in a one-man show about Truman Capote. While he says he isn’t necessarily free, he is content. And I was content reading this book.

4 stars

Darrell Hammond

Darrell Hammond was Saturday Night Live's longest-serving cast member, a player for a record-setting 14 years. He was known for his impressions of Bill Clinton, Sean Connery, Al Gore, Dick Cheney, Chris Matthews and John McCain, among many others. He has also appeared in Law & Order: SVU and on the one-man broadway Show, Tru. He lives in New York City.

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