Talks Politics, Comedy
By Katherine Stevens,
Yale Daily News - 9/29/03
It was "Sunday Night Live"
Sunday evening at Woolsey Hall when self-described "professional
clown" and "Saturday Night Live" cast member Darrell
Hammond performed 75 minutes of comedy. Yale College Council
President Elliott Mogul '05 said at least 1,600 students were
in attendance. After the show, the Yale Daily News chatted with
Hammond about politics, comedy, and superheroes.
Yale Daily News: Happy Birthday,
in advance. [Hammond's birthday is Oct. 8, two days after the
season premiere of "Saturday Night Live."] I know you
play a lot of people who are older than you are, which is a very
rare thing in television. How are you going to celebrate turning
Hammond: I have to give this
speech that night in honor of the president of NBC. Let me tell
you how my life is -- I have a daughter who is five and a half
and I got back together with my wife and her. I do things like
I watch CSI and I just want to take care of them. One of the
tabloids had pictures of Chris Farley and Belushi and me with
a question mark -- those were much darker times -- [My wife,
daughter and I] go to the park, we go to our favorite restaurants.
I should do something wild and crazy I guess. I'll probably just
hang out with the family and kick back.
Yale Daily News: How did you
get your start in comedy?
Hammond: I started out doing
these voices for Disney World, for the theme park -- and I decided
to do an open mic night. At that time, there were a lot of open
mic nights in Florida. Then I came to New York and got turned
down at every club. It was weird how every club I went to someone
would turn me down.
Yale Daily News: What reactions
have you received from people you've impersonated on SNL?
Hammond: They really like it.
They like it a lot. You know, [Vice President Dick] Cheney has
invited me more than once to private affairs. I've been invited
to Congress to perform and I have. I've played the Clinton White
House and the Bush White House. People respond to it really well.
Maybe they don't like it, but -- I don't really get personal
with people. And maybe that's why they like me a little bit more.
Sean Connery said something nice to me the other day.
Yale Daily News: Are you going
to do a Cody Banks sequel?
Hammond: I don't know. I don't
think I'm going to be in that sequel. I was just doing "Scary
Movie 3" and this Olsen twins movie. It's odd that I auditioned
for so long for parts but people could only see me as, you know,
Clinton, you know. It took a long time for people to actually
go, "Oh, yeah" -- I auditioned for such a long time
before people started offering.
Yale Daily News: Do you ever
go into Harlem and go golfing with Bill Clinton?
Hammond: Go to Harlem to go golfing
with Bill Clinton?
Yale Daily News: Yeah.
Hammond: No, I've never hung
out to do things like that. It's usually more like formal affairs.
But I certainly would.
Yale Daily News: OK, if you were
a superhero, who would you be?
Yale Daily News: OK, who would
be your sidekick: Horatio Sanz or Jimmy Fallon?
Hammond (incredulously): Sidekick?
Yale Daily News: Yeah, you can
pick someone else if you want.
Hammond: I don't know. I like
them both a lot. It would have to be both. Together, they're
Yale Daily News: I know you're
going to be in the Olsen twins movie, "New York Minute."
Why did you pick that movie? What was your mindset?
Hammond: Well, they had Eugene
Levy and Andrea Martin in it, who are like idols of mine. And
it has Andy Richter in it.
Yale Daily News: So the Olsen
twins aren't idols of yours?
Hammond: No. I didn't really
know much about them. I didn't understand they were a giant,
giant corporation. It's awe-inspiring to watch.
Yale Daily News: Will you promise
to never, ever, ever leave SNL?
Hammond: They've offered me to
stay as long as I want. It keeps me in New York. Good money.
I love the job. I don't know why I would [leave SNL]. Maybe I
would. I haven't thought about it yet. But thank you for that