The im­pres­sion­ist who lost Trump

The Week (US) - - 10 News -

Dar­rell Ham­mond used to be Satur­day Night Live’s go-to im­pres­sion­ist, said Ge­off Edgers in The Wash­ing­ton Post. Fa­mous for par­o­dy­ing Bill Clin­ton, Ham­mond also spent a decade on the show im­i­tat­ing bom­bas­tic real es­tate mogul Don­ald Trump. So when Trump shook up the pres­i­den­tial race last year, Ham­mond couldn’t wait to don the yel­low wig again. Then an SNL pro­ducer called the im­pres­sion­ist to tell him that Alec Bald­win would be tak­ing over the role. Ham­mond was heart­bro­ken. “I just started cry­ing. In front of ev­ery­one. I couldn’t be­lieve it. Ev­ery­thing wiped out. The brand, me, what I do. Cor­po­rate ap­pear­ances can­celed. It was a hell of a shock, and all of it was ap­par­ent to me in one breath.” Ham­mond spent the cam­paign try­ing to for­get all about Trump; on elec­tion night, he and his girl­friend watched Game of Thrones. But re­minders of his for­mer role were ev­ery­where. “I couldn’t turn on a tele­vi­sion, couldn’t walk down Broad­way, couldn’t go any­where. Peo­ple would lit­er­ally pull up in their cars to say, ‘What the hell hap­pened? Why would you give that job up?’” In the end, he and his girl­friend moved to Los An­ge­les. Ham­mond records his SNL open­ings re­motely, and is try­ing to move on from his most out­size role as best as he can. “I got to play him. It went really well when I did. Times change, right?”

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