Lasting Impression

Darrell Hammond

is a busy man. But last week,

Saturday Night Live

’s longest-running cast member fit us into his schedule between rehearsing for the show, getting ready for a Broadway play and picking up lunch. “Sorry, I’m in a cab right now,” Hammond told us. “Fuck, I’m listening to a guy yell at me here… he was very, very intense.” We assume it’s hard for someone of Hammond’s stature to walk around on the streets of New York without being asked to do one of his spot-on impersonations of Al Gore, Al Sharpton, Regis Philbin, Dick Cheney, Bill Clinton, Sean Connery or countless others.

“Yeah, it’s always flattering,” says Hammond. “The problem with me, though, is that, for me to do an impression, I have to warm up; I have to practice. I’m a practice freak, I’m a preparation freak,” Hammond says and then adds, “Is this ready to eat? Sorry, I’m getting my lunch.”

Hammond is in town this weekend for a two-night stint at the Improv. His stand-up routine has some of the characters fans love from SNL, but he isn’t a one-trick pony; he also riffs on politics and life in Brooklyn. He says stand-up is important because it not only helps him stay on top of his game, but also provides a break from the hectic life of an SNL cast member. --Dusti Rhodes

Hammond isn’t the only person stepping into new territory this week. Check out our Night & Day® section for the scoop on Nameless Sound’s venture into minimalism, Rudyard’s flirtation with teen punk and for the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston’s attempt to make an exploration of light and sound in art not be something totally boring.

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