"SNL’s" Darrell Hammond reveals more than just his inner workings in his soon-to-be-released memoir: “God, If You’re Not Up There , I’m F*cked: Misadventures in Stand-Up, Saturday Night Live, And Other Mind-Altering Mayhem.”
Few cast members on a show he’s spent 14 years working with knew that Hammond struggled with drugs, alcohol and self-mutilation to distance the memories of an incredibly traumatic youth.
“I’ve been in treatment since I was 19, and I’m 56,” he said. “That’s a couple of bucks and a long time.”
It’s no wonder he’s been in treatment for so long after learning what he lived with. Growing up his mother beat him, stabbed him and tortured him with hammers and electrocution.
"I remember reciting a Little Orphan Annie poem about Little Orphan Annie being butchered,” said Hammond. “I remember that. I remember the floor being red and me bleeding in a vague sense. I remember it was my fault. I remember my hand slammed in the door. My fault. Also electric socket, my fault. All my fault, isn't it? Can you imagine the desperation of a child who chooses to believe that it was all his fault just so he doesn't have to consider the idea that his mother did it? Or that his parents did it?”
Hammond said he spent the majority of his time at "SNL" medicated and often cut himself backstage before his skits. Producers knew of his struggles, but most of the people he worked with had no idea.
“Most of the time it was really manageable," he said. "But if you added a pint of [alcohol] to the equation, then sometimes it got a little messy."
The actor has checked himself in and out of a psychiatric hospital in New York City for treatment to cope with the pain he suffered as a child. In his younger years, he went through trauma therapy and even called his mother, telling her he was being treated for the same symptoms prisoners of war get. To that she had nothing to say other than “Don’t talk to us again.”
He said the producers of "SNL" who knew his story were “extremely helpful.” They made decisions regarding his role in the show based on whether or not it was healthy for Hammond, as opposed to what was in their best interest.
Hammond’s book will be released into stores on Nov. 8.
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