Substance abuse is certainly, and sadly, not a rarity in the world of comedy. But it seems some of the stories Saturday Night Live alum Darrell Hammond tells in his upcoming memoir are surprising– even by standards levied by jaded comedy enthusiasts. Copies of the book God, If You’re Not Up There, I’m Fucked: Misadventures In Stand-Up, Saturday Night Live, and Other Mind-Altering Mayhem (out Nov. 8), were sent to Saturday Night Live offices late last week and the New York Post has excerpted a few lines. It turns out Hammond had a lot more demons than any outsider could’ve guessed. In 1998, the situation had gotten so bad he was placed in the NBC infirmary, then put in a straitjacket and taken to New York Hospital. “My wife came but I didn’t recognize her,” he writes.
“I kept a pint of Remy [cognac] 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 goes on to talk about his cocaine use in 2002: “I’d started adding an obscene amount of cocaine to my binges … 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.” And in 2009, Hammond says he began dabbling in crack.
Known mostly for his impressions during his 16-year stint on SNL, the 56-year-old cites a traumatic childhood for his addictive personality. But it looks like we’ll have to wait until the book comes out next month to learn the specifics.