Video: SNL's Darrell Hammond on How Trauma Led Him to Addiction

By Ariel Nagi 10/25/11

The Saturday Night Live veteran discusses a horrifying catalog of abuse, trauma, self-harm and addiction.

Hammond tells a stark story. Photo via

Long-serving Saturday Night Live star Darrell Hammond, best known for his quirky impressions of figures like Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, drops the comedy in his upcoming memoir, revealing trips to hospitals in straightjackets and time spent in a Harlem crack house. In God, If You’re Not Up There, I’m Fucked, which comes out on November 8, 56-year-old Hammond says that in order to escape memories of his traumatic childhood—in which he was stabbed, beaten and subjected to electric shocks by his mother—he turned to booze and cocaine while he was a part of the show. "I kept a pint of Remy in my desk at work. The drinking calmed my nerves and quieted the disturbing images in my head...when drinking didn't work, I cut myself," the New York Post excerpts. Previously diagnosed as bipolar and schizophrenic, Hammond also writes about a time in 1998 where cops took him from the NBC infirmary to New York Hospital in a straitjacket. In 2002, Hammond said he had to get "more creative" so others at work wouldn't catch on to his addiction, so he began adding large amounts of coke to his binge-drinking habits. He relapsed in 2009, during his 14th season on SNL, and "had the brilliant idea I should try crack,” he writes, which led to his time in the crack house. In this CNN video, Hammond talks about his traumatic childhood, his parents, his diagnoses and his "soul-killing" meds.

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