For 14 seasons, “Saturday Night Live’s” Darrell Hammond delighted crowds with his uncanny impersonations of Sean Connery, Regis Philbin, and (most notably) former President Bill Clinton. Mimicking over 107 celebrities, Hammond found fame on the sketch show, appearing on films and even performing at the White House Correspondents’ dinner. But behind-the-scenes, the comedian suffered.
Plagued by incapacitating flashbacks, Hammond struggled to cope, eventually turning to substance abuse and self-harm. After 50 years of pain and misdiagnoses, he discovered the root of his ailments: repressed memories from his youth. Documentarian Michelle Esrick captured Hammond’s story in the film “Cracked Up.”
Esrick, who met Hammond via mutual friends years ago, could tell they were both on a healing path and wanted to tell the actor’s story with a balance of comedic clips, interviews, and the intricate sculptures from the artist Dustin Yellin.