He’s survived creative redirections and misdirections, side-stepped cast purges (a recent one) and the more civilized cast “departures.” The president who made him famous – and perhaps in some small measure he helped to make famous too – has been out of office six years. Yet both remain indelibly linked: The real McCoy still seems only barely distinguishable from his comic Doppelganger. Yes, Mister Darrell Hammond, this is your life.
Hammond gets his very own, very first “Saturday Night Live” special (Saturday at 11:30 p.m. on NBC/4), practically on the eve of the Tuesday midterms. So, one can reasonably ask: What’s taken so long?
For 11 seasons – some glorious, some unspeakable – he’s been the Rock of “SNL,” and the One Sure Thing, with a few exceptions. (He still can’t figure out W, and enough already with Chris Matthews.) Besides Phil Hartman and Dana Carvey, there is pretty much no one who has performed the art of impression better than Hammond on “SNL,” and certainly no one for as long.