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God, If You're Not Up There, I'm F*cked: Tales Of Stand-Up, Saturday Night Live, And Other Mind-Altering Mayhem

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Tina Fey’s Bossypantsmeets David Carr’s The Night of the Gun in Darrell Hammond’sgroundbreaking memoir, God, If You’re Not Up There, I’m F*cked—a raw look inside the troubled life and mind of anAmerican comic genius. By turns poignant and hilarious, Hammond takes readersfrom the set of Saturday Night Live, where he was the show’slongest-tenured cast member, to the drug-rid Tina Fey’s Bossypantsmeets David Carr’s The Night of the Gun in Darrell Hammond’sgroundbreaking memoir, God, If You’re Not Up There, I’m F*cked—a raw look inside the troubled life and mind of anAmerican comic genius. By turns poignant and hilarious, Hammond takes readersfrom the set of Saturday Night Live, where he was the show’slongest-tenured cast member, to the drug-ridden streets of Harlem and into thetwisting corridors of his own unflaggingly humorous consciousness. Minglingbehind-the-scenes stories from television’s best-loved comedy series with adark look inside a world-class funnyman, God If You’re Not Up There,I’m F*cked is a book sure to resonate with anyonewho shares a talent for performance, a love of comedy, or a desire to know howan artist can climb from the deepest despair to the very top of his profession.


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Tina Fey’s Bossypantsmeets David Carr’s The Night of the Gun in Darrell Hammond’sgroundbreaking memoir, God, If You’re Not Up There, I’m F*cked—a raw look inside the troubled life and mind of anAmerican comic genius. By turns poignant and hilarious, Hammond takes readersfrom the set of Saturday Night Live, where he was the show’slongest-tenured cast member, to the drug-rid Tina Fey’s Bossypantsmeets David Carr’s The Night of the Gun in Darrell Hammond’sgroundbreaking memoir, God, If You’re Not Up There, I’m F*cked—a raw look inside the troubled life and mind of anAmerican comic genius. By turns poignant and hilarious, Hammond takes readersfrom the set of Saturday Night Live, where he was the show’slongest-tenured cast member, to the drug-ridden streets of Harlem and into thetwisting corridors of his own unflaggingly humorous consciousness. Minglingbehind-the-scenes stories from television’s best-loved comedy series with adark look inside a world-class funnyman, God If You’re Not Up There,I’m F*cked is a book sure to resonate with anyonewho shares a talent for performance, a love of comedy, or a desire to know howan artist can climb from the deepest despair to the very top of his profession.

30 review for God, If You're Not Up There, I'm F*cked: Tales Of Stand-Up, Saturday Night Live, And Other Mind-Altering Mayhem

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jen from Quebec :0)

    As opposed to other memoirs written by 'Saturday Night Live' alums, this one is much more serious and heavy. Hammond had a horrific childhood and a brutal adulthood, floundering in the throes of misdiagnosed mental illnesses and alcoholism. Only during his 7th season on the show did he finally find a DR that actually helped him properly. This book does have some great stories from behind the scenes of SNL, but it is not solely a 'book about SNL'. I wish it had been. I wish that he had written TW As opposed to other memoirs written by 'Saturday Night Live' alums, this one is much more serious and heavy. Hammond had a horrific childhood and a brutal adulthood, floundering in the throes of misdiagnosed mental illnesses and alcoholism. Only during his 7th season on the show did he finally find a DR that actually helped him properly. This book does have some great stories from behind the scenes of SNL, but it is not solely a 'book about SNL'. I wish it had been. I wish that he had written TWO books, one about his career and time on the show, and one about his life, childhood, health issues and addictions. They each would have been strong, well written books as Hammond is an intelligent, articulate writer. Despite some flaws, this IS a well-written book. However, the main problem is that he tries to give BOTH of these massive topics equal justice in this ONE book, and as a result, he doesn't give either one the proper time/length needed; creating an uneven memoir that could have easily been two different (stronger) tales. --Jen from Quebec :0)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin

    Fair or not, as I read Darrell Hammond’s God, If You’re Not Up There, I’m F*cked, I couldn’t help comparing it constantly to Tina Fey’s Bossypants. Both Hammond and Fey are prominent alumni of the long-running NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, and their memoirs were published a mere seven months apart. While Fey’s book was modestly entertaining, it was a bit of a disappointment. It favored cute and clever witticisms over candor and humility. In contrast, Hammond has penned an absorbing Fair or not, as I read Darrell Hammond’s God, If You’re Not Up There, I’m F*cked, I couldn’t help comparing it constantly to Tina Fey’s Bossypants. Both Hammond and Fey are prominent alumni of the long-running NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, and their memoirs were published a mere seven months apart. While Fey’s book was modestly entertaining, it was a bit of a disappointment. It favored cute and clever witticisms over candor and humility. In contrast, Hammond has penned an absorbing, emotionally frank, and surprisingly educational memoir that lays its author bare in a manner that is both delicate and unflinching. It is no surprise that Hammond’s time at Saturday Night Live should underscore nearly every chapter of his memoir. His record-breaking 14-year stint as an SNL cast member made him a household name, from college dorms to the most famous house of all, located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Indeed, Hammond’s impressions covered a veritable pantheon of political figures—Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Dick Cheney, Jesse Jackson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, pundit Chris Matthews, and even Donald Trump (who counts only because he briefly flirted with the idea of running for president). The man also famously performed as Sean Connery, Dan Rather, Ted Koppel, Phil Donahue, Regis Philbin, and scores of others. Hammond’s notoriety as the preeminent comic impressionist of this generation followed him everywhere, from Presidential black-tie soirées, where Hammond was invited to perform as Clinton alongside Clinton himself, to the psychiatric hospitals where, as a patient, Hammond still couldn’t escape the requests to appear in character. Little do people know that Hammond’s penchant for imitation began as a child, when his impressions of Porky Pig and others formed the only positive link between him and his sadistically abusive, mentally-ill mother. It was a relationship that would germinate more than Hammond’s vocal talents, leading the comedian for most of his life to struggle with severe mental and emotional problems, and in turn with alcohol and a wide assortment of other drugs. Even more shockingly, Hammond’s psychological turmoil was frequently manifest in acts of self-cutting, a practice he engaged in often just moments before taking the stage and performing in comedy skits on live television. An amazingly persistent talent, Hammond nevertheless didn’t always make it in front of the cameras. More than once his appearances were cancelled as he was rushed from the NBC studios at Rockefeller Center to a hospital—one time in a straitjacket. Hammond’s tome is a powerful one, with writing as dignified as it is gracious. It’s almost surprising that the book is a memoir for as little as Hammond makes himself the center of attention. In no way does he shy away from the details of his life, from his vast accomplishments and the wealth of professional respect that has come his way. And yet Hammond exudes an unwavering awe toward all of the talent with which he’s had the honor to have worked, a relentless gratitude for all of the wondrous occasions of which he’s been a part. At the same time, Hammond openly discusses his foibles and flaws. His matter-of-fact recounting of personal weakness is neither arrogant nor apologetic nor a plea for sympathy, it is just the truth. It is a pervasive and guileless honesty that commands the respect of the reader, even when a bit of the unsolicited sympathy does manage to slip in. I would be remiss not to mention the expert way in which Hammond fuses informative passages into his tale. The knowledge the reader gains of everything Hammond discusses, from life in Hell’s Kitchen circa 1980 to law enforcement in the Bahamas, is staggering. A copious amount of detail is woven into the narrative, but it is done so seamlessly and succinctly that you’ll scarce realize you’re being educated just as much as you’re being entertained. Nowhere is this as true as when Hammond describes the inner workings of Saturday Night Live. Even the casual fan of the show will gain an appreciation for the controlled chaos that goes on behind the scenes. Hammond’s book should be used as a primer for anyone aspiring to join the cast or crew of SNL. It is incredibly fitting that Hammond should conclude his memoir discussing his most recent adventure, playing Truman Capote in a stage production of the one-man show Tru. As Hammond notes, the stage is designed to make audiences feel as though they are sitting in Capote’s living room, effectively transforming the nearly 100-minute monologue into something of an intimate conversation between Capote and the individual viewer. Hammond’s book accomplishes nearly the same feat. By the time I had reached the final few chapters, I realized that I was reading every page as though poised on the edge of my seat, with Hammond sitting directly in front of me, talking to me personally, telling me about his life as if I were a near and dear friend. It donned on me then that Hammond, whom I felt had alluded me in the earlier chapters, had been there all along, but with such a quiet and pleasing demeanor that I had failed to appreciate his arrival, so caught up was I in what he had to say. Without my even realizing it, Hammond had befriended me through his stories. And I can’t think of a better compliment for the author of a memoir.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Katie B

    When most people think of Darrell Hammond they associate him with being a performer on Saturday Night Live and then later on as an announcer for the show. He has always kinda flown under the radar and his personal life was never really splashed all over the tabloids. So when his memoir came out, I remember just about everyone being shocked at the dark content. Comedians often use laughter as a way to mask the pain and I think that definitely applies to Darrell. Memoirs are always tricky to rate a When most people think of Darrell Hammond they associate him with being a performer on Saturday Night Live and then later on as an announcer for the show. He has always kinda flown under the radar and his personal life was never really splashed all over the tabloids. So when his memoir came out, I remember just about everyone being shocked at the dark content. Comedians often use laughter as a way to mask the pain and I think that definitely applies to Darrell. Memoirs are always tricky to rate and the main reason I gave this book 3 stars is because I didn't care for how it was organized as the timeline bounced around too much to the point in which it was confusing. Darrell also doesn't go into much detail about his 2 divorces from the same wife. And while I respect that maybe he prefers not to share everything about his life, it is a memoir and something like that to pretty much be glossed over just feels odd. I think there is a way to avoid certain things you don't want to talk about but still make it seem to the reader like they are getting an inside look to your life. This memoir just felt incomplete. One of the things I found most interesting was he impersonated politicians from both sides of the aisle and he would get invited to all of the different events like inaugurations. He didn't have a loyalty to either party, and when it came to humor, everyone was fair game. And that's probably why in turn he was well-respected among the Washington D.C. crowd. Although to be fair, it sounded like Hilary Clinton might have thought he crossed a line with a joke as she basically dropped him soon after. Even though this isn't my favorite celeb memoir, it still was a fascinating read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Don

    Hammond's story is fascinating -- from his traumatic boyhood to his famed run on SNL to his struggles with mental health and addiction -- and he tells it with a kind of raw honesty that you don't expect from someone so famous. At its heart, this book is about trauma and recovery, and Hammond's retelling of the moment he finally found his freedom (p. 251) is as profound and moving as anything I've read in some time. I suppose I could complain that the book takes too many bunny trails, as the auth Hammond's story is fascinating -- from his traumatic boyhood to his famed run on SNL to his struggles with mental health and addiction -- and he tells it with a kind of raw honesty that you don't expect from someone so famous. At its heart, this book is about trauma and recovery, and Hammond's retelling of the moment he finally found his freedom (p. 251) is as profound and moving as anything I've read in some time. I suppose I could complain that the book takes too many bunny trails, as the author recounts several SNL behind-the-scenes antics, but really these bunny trails are pretty damn interesting, so never mind.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bryce Rausch

    I have never really been the kind of reader who grabs a book and reads it cover-to-cover in a single sitting. And I'm still not because it took my 2 sittings, but that's fine because I've never really been the kind of reader who grabs a book and reads it cover-to-cover in a couple sittings. So ... #humblebrag. Darrell Hammond has a story that is unlike even the more dysfunctional comics. From most comedians you expect a little bullying, isolation, sadness, parents getting divorced, lots of drinki I have never really been the kind of reader who grabs a book and reads it cover-to-cover in a single sitting. And I'm still not because it took my 2 sittings, but that's fine because I've never really been the kind of reader who grabs a book and reads it cover-to-cover in a couple sittings. So ... #humblebrag. Darrell Hammond has a story that is unlike even the more dysfunctional comics. From most comedians you expect a little bullying, isolation, sadness, parents getting divorced, lots of drinking, drug use, and then sometimes sobriety. Darrell swapped out his parents getting divorced for his mom straight up abusing him. Otherwise, he fit the mold. A book with a great story is very readable, a book with a great story that breaks out anecdotes as their own mini-chapters makes a book even more readable. This was just so readable! It was as if it was in english which is the language I read! (Spoiler alert: this book IS in english!) I am a comedy nerd, which is why I decided to read about a comic that I'm not even necessarily a huge fan of, but I think even casual SNL fans (or Bill Clinton fans) will really enjoy this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Karl Haug

    Growing up in a family where his mother constantly tortured him, physically and emotionally, Darrell Hammond learned to believe that death and pain was around every corner. This pain was lodged so deep in his brain that he would wake up screaming at night, scar up his whole body with razor blades and kitchen knives, and was almost constantly drunk or being shipped off to rehab. While living in constant fear, he also was busy performing stand-up comedy for SNL and another club/show he could get i Growing up in a family where his mother constantly tortured him, physically and emotionally, Darrell Hammond learned to believe that death and pain was around every corner. This pain was lodged so deep in his brain that he would wake up screaming at night, scar up his whole body with razor blades and kitchen knives, and was almost constantly drunk or being shipped off to rehab. While living in constant fear, he also was busy performing stand-up comedy for SNL and another club/show he could get into. Hammond does a fantastic job of guiding the reader through his messed up life while working at SNL, and the reasons for why his life was the way it was. He tells his tale of his dark life on and off camera with brutal honesty and on occasion with his comical wit that we all love him for. In God, If You’re Not Up There, I’m Fucked, Darrell Hammond gives the reader a glimpse into his mind and life while struggling with his childhood trauma, drugs, alcohol, self-mutilation, and the hard life of stand-up comedy.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    A few years ago, I started reading "God, If You're Not There" on my Kindle. I abandoned it after a few pages, shocked by the dissonance between my image of Darrell Hammond and the reality. (Naive, I know.) Last week, when Audible released the audiobook narrated by the author, I decided to give this book another try. I'm glad I did. "God, If You're Not There" is about Darrell Hammond's life, both the highs and the lows. He describes his struggle with mental illness, addiction, and abuse at the han A few years ago, I started reading "God, If You're Not There" on my Kindle. I abandoned it after a few pages, shocked by the dissonance between my image of Darrell Hammond and the reality. (Naive, I know.) Last week, when Audible released the audiobook narrated by the author, I decided to give this book another try. I'm glad I did. "God, If You're Not There" is about Darrell Hammond's life, both the highs and the lows. He describes his struggle with mental illness, addiction, and abuse at the hands of his parents... that's difficult to listen to (and must have been difficult to narrate). But he also describes his career and includes several of his wonderful comedic impressions. He recounts his experiences from Saturday Night Live (which I absolutely loved, as an SNL fan), and notes that he refers fans to s Washington Post article in response to "Why aren't you playing Donald Trump anymore?" The book also describes Hammond's recovery from addiction and finding peace. For me, this was the most satisfying part of the book. A very interesting audiobook by and about this talented comedian. Highly recommended! Review also posted to audible.com: https://www.audible.com/pd/Bios-Memoi...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elyse

    So much darker and way more heartbreaking, gut-wrenching than I thought it would be! Review to come.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    This book was all right. I heard him on Fresh Air and was intrigued in a way I hadn't been before I knew his story was so dark. Darrell Hammond, the guy behind some of the most famous impersonations on SNL, turns out to be another in the school of deeply haunted comics, thus I was intrigued. Sadly, the book was more about his time at SNL and the struggles he was having during them (drinking/drugging/lots of cutting/trips to rehab/etc.) than it was as to what got him there. And although it strugg This book was all right. I heard him on Fresh Air and was intrigued in a way I hadn't been before I knew his story was so dark. Darrell Hammond, the guy behind some of the most famous impersonations on SNL, turns out to be another in the school of deeply haunted comics, thus I was intrigued. Sadly, the book was more about his time at SNL and the struggles he was having during them (drinking/drugging/lots of cutting/trips to rehab/etc.) than it was as to what got him there. And although it struggles to go in chronological order, it's very shallowly written, thinly connected vignettes/paragraphs that don't flow very well. I don't care that much what Hilary Clinton's entourage was and how many times you played the White House Correspondent's Dinner (although I suppose many people who want to read a Darrell Hammond autobiography would be). But that person probably would like a funny book, and this wasn't. I care about an in depth exploration of the horror show that got him to the point of such a severe case of PTSD that it was misdiagnosed as bipolar d/o/schizophrenia for years upon years, and that he cut himself to keep himself from slipping into flashbacks at inopportune times (that's a v different pathology from most cutters). There was some of that, but I wanted to know a lot more. Although that said, I can understand why he would be hesitant to discuss it in depth, but for my money if you're going there, go all the way. Anyhow, the guy certainly had a hard time of it. Also, he didn't get his break on SNL until he was 39, so I am choosing to find this very inspirational.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ily Goyanes

    Well... This book is the autobiographical account of Hammond's struggle with alcohol and drugs during his years on Saturday Night Live and beyond. I don't want to be mean, but the book reads as if it were written by someone who was still intoxicated. Being a huge SNL fan and having fallen in love with Tina Fey all over again after reading Bossy Pants last year, I was eager to read Hammond's book. But while Fey's prose is tight (and hilarious), Hammond's is nonsensical and flat. He jumps back and Well... This book is the autobiographical account of Hammond's struggle with alcohol and drugs during his years on Saturday Night Live and beyond. I don't want to be mean, but the book reads as if it were written by someone who was still intoxicated. Being a huge SNL fan and having fallen in love with Tina Fey all over again after reading Bossy Pants last year, I was eager to read Hammond's book. But while Fey's prose is tight (and hilarious), Hammond's is nonsensical and flat. He jumps back and forth between his years on SNL and his youth, not in an organized fashion, but in a way that leaves you scratching your head wondering, 'what were you talking about again?' To his credit, he does admit in the book that he is not a funny person -- his success on SNL was due largely to the Emmy award-winning writing staff. But then the question must be asked - why? Oh, right. For the paycheck. Well, at least someone got something out of it. Bleh.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dalana Dailey

    The bulk of Darrell Hammond's career came before I regularly watched Saturday Night Live. (I was too busy watching Mad TV.) But I am so glad I read his memoir. He is very funny but the childhood trauma he went through is truly disturbing. And the way he reveals it...you discover it at the same time he does...it's like something out of a Stephen King novel. You sense that something isn't right when he talks about his family, but when you finally realize the full extent of what he went through, yo The bulk of Darrell Hammond's career came before I regularly watched Saturday Night Live. (I was too busy watching Mad TV.) But I am so glad I read his memoir. He is very funny but the childhood trauma he went through is truly disturbing. And the way he reveals it...you discover it at the same time he does...it's like something out of a Stephen King novel. You sense that something isn't right when he talks about his family, but when you finally realize the full extent of what he went through, you are horrified. This is a great book about making it in the comedy business but also about the coping mechanisms that adults often pick up when they are a product of abuse. Alcohol abuse, substance abuse, cutting, panic attacks...these are the symptoms of a person who has been through something traumatic. And while the signs are easy to spot, there are no easy solutions. On a side note, Hammond loves Les Miserables, and I love him for loving what I love. :)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Bergeron

    NEVER had any idea that Darrell Hammond was going through so much psychological trauma! I am a big fan of his and always enjoyed his Sean Connery impression on the imitation Jeorpardy game on Saturday Night Live and then again when he portrayed John McCain during his townhall meeting with Barak Obama! I would sincerely say he is my all time favorite Saturday Night Live personality. I wish him well with his personal issues and am very impressed he wrote his story.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Briana Alzola

    There is some dark stuff in here. More than once I said "Wait, what?!" out loud while reading it. There is some dark stuff in here. More than once I said "Wait, what?!" out loud while reading it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Mccafferty

    Insightful, brave and funny. Best listened to on audible to get the full effect of genius voice impersonations.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joe Kraus

    I never found Darrell Hammond all that funny, though, to be fair, I didn’t watch a lot of Saturday Night Live in his era. Still, I’ve found myself reading as many memoirs of cast members as I can because I’m curious about what makes something funny and because I have a son imagining a career in comedy. Oh, and this was on sale. If I’d known what I was getting into with this, I doubt I’d have read it. For the most part, there’s not much funny to it. Instead, it’s a harrowing account of Hammond’s em I never found Darrell Hammond all that funny, though, to be fair, I didn’t watch a lot of Saturday Night Live in his era. Still, I’ve found myself reading as many memoirs of cast members as I can because I’m curious about what makes something funny and because I have a son imagining a career in comedy. Oh, and this was on sale. If I’d known what I was getting into with this, I doubt I’d have read it. For the most part, there’s not much funny to it. Instead, it’s a harrowing account of Hammond’s emotional illness. He was physically abused as a child, mostly by his mother but also at times by his father. He coped in the cliched way of working to make people laugh, but also in darker ways like substance abuse and cutting himself. While there are some early chapters about his SNL life and his work as a comedian, the majority of the first two-thirds of this is a straightforward memoir of a deeply pained man. There’s power in his self-discovery, power in the sense that he is working toward healing himself as he tells the story, but he’s only a solid writer, not a great one. If I’d wanted memoir in full, there are a lot of others I’d have turned to first. There are, eventually, some chapters about his SNL life, but he seems to admit in his afterward that they’re there because his publisher asked for them. He’s surprisingly unhappy in describing his time on the show. He was older than most of the cast, and he was a drinker in a serious and solitary way, so he didn’t connect with his castmates the way so many others of the same era seemed to. More to the point of what I was hoping for, though, Hammond was never quite a comedian. He was, instead, an impressionist. And, as far as I’m concerned, the best parts of this book come from him discussing what goes into a thoughtful impression. You don’t want to be too exact, he says. Mimicry is more a gimmick than something funny. Instead, the challenge is to find a quirk and then exaggerate it. He credits Dana Carvey as a mentor and model, and he recalls the power of a sketch the two did together. Carvey as George W. Bush promised he was “Not gonna do it” when it came to raising taxes. Hammond as Al Gore promised to take Social Security and put it in a “lock box.” He nailed the impression so fully and with such mockery that some observers thought it was a factor in that razor-close election. So it’s interesting to hear him discuss how he listens – studies deeply – the characters he does impressions of. For his Bill Clinton, the most famous of his characters, he developed three different sets of tapes to hear the President in his morning, afternoon and evening voices. He listens for where in the throat the voice comes. Others concentrate on the material, but Hammond lets the writers handle that. He wants to get at a subtler performing quality of someone he “does.” And, intriguingly, he claims to have a form of synesthesia that makes him hear some voices in color. That gift seems a part of what it takes for him to “get” his subjects. There’s ultimately less of that analysis than I’d like, though, and that leaves the uncomfortable fact that – absent his striking abilities as an impressionist – he’s simply not that funny a comedian. (In the edition I listened to, the memoir itself is often flat, laughless. In the appended live routine, though, some of the same stories – presented with full-throated impressions – becomes funnier. It’s in the delivery.) Between the candor of the memoir and the analysis of his art, there are some legitimate elements here. It has some power, but not quite the power I was looking for when I picked it up.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    I enjoyed reading this book, though I have to admit that it has its problems. As has been written in several other reviews of this book on this site, the timeline is kind of screwy. Or maybe it isn't so much the timeline, as the chapters all pertain to a specific set of years, but the switching back and forth from the years discussed in the chapter with remembrances of childhood. Granted, those flashbacks were important, and happening in his real life, but they tended to be a little confusing. A I enjoyed reading this book, though I have to admit that it has its problems. As has been written in several other reviews of this book on this site, the timeline is kind of screwy. Or maybe it isn't so much the timeline, as the chapters all pertain to a specific set of years, but the switching back and forth from the years discussed in the chapter with remembrances of childhood. Granted, those flashbacks were important, and happening in his real life, but they tended to be a little confusing. Also, from an editing standpoint, there are almost no quotation marks in the book (ok, there are some, but strangely not always). It's so confusing to read something where he is quoting someone and just having their in-line quote begin with a capital letter and no other reference to where the quote really begins. For example: They say, This criminal has your silver. And the priest says, I gave it to him. I gave him this god, too, which, he says to Jean Valjean, you forgot. I lifted that directly from page 249 where he is drawing a comparison between him and characters in Les Miserables. It's just confusing to figure out what is happening in that sentence, and that happens throughout the book. It's interesting to read about his life and his many traumatic experiences, but sometimes the details are missing and it can read a lot more like little diary entries. The stuff about SNL is interesting, but also seems to be missing so much. Again, I know that he isn't a writer, but this could have been put together so much better. Finally, maybe I'm just cynical, but some of his stories just seemed unbelievable. I don't mean in an "Oh man, no WAY!" way, but more like a "Um, no, that couldn't have happened." Like his story about a woman he befriended in rehab calling him as she was being arrested, and then somehow sending him a pair of sneakers a few days later, while she was in jail? There were a couple other stories that were improbable too. I did believe everything about his horrible mother and tortured father, but I started to wonder if he was either embellishing, or exaggerating some other stuff later on. Maybe he wasn't, who am I to say, but I have some questions. And he only mentions his wife (now ex-wife) maybe once or twice. He does mention them not living together, but again no details on that. How did that work? Where was she when he was going through all this stuff? It's an engaging read, however, and as such I finished it in about 2 days.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

    Read this in about a 24 hour period. VERY engrossing, and held me spellbound as his interviews did as well. I have always watched SNL even through good years and bad, and Hammond was always solid and consistent performer. Which is even more of a compliment now that I read his memoir. I loved all the tidbits about cast members and guest hosts, and especially about his political views (Which are basically nonexistent, which surprised me). I read Bossypants by Tina Fey too, and its great to get bot Read this in about a 24 hour period. VERY engrossing, and held me spellbound as his interviews did as well. I have always watched SNL even through good years and bad, and Hammond was always solid and consistent performer. Which is even more of a compliment now that I read his memoir. I loved all the tidbits about cast members and guest hosts, and especially about his political views (Which are basically nonexistent, which surprised me). I read Bossypants by Tina Fey too, and its great to get both their perspectives on 9/11 and the anthrax scare at 30 Rock. I liked the structure, we go through his childhood and his struggles chronologically until the birth of his daughter which causes him to flashback to early in his childhood. We then go back to bits of his childhood where he went through what can only be described as torture by the hands of his mother. We then see his struggles and even more rehab (and a correct diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder from the torture) up through basically this present year. I respect his decision to keep his wife and daughter out of the book, but it does seem to be a little unprocessed. A lot of facts but no real synthesis of 'what all this means'. I think that it was simply written too close to his breakthrough. He is only now connecting the dots, and while this book and going public with his struggles has probably helped him, and the memior is a work for him, it wasn't for us. A bit more distance would create a more polished piece--but would it be as raw? Probably not. Overall, a good read but it might be a one time read for me.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Terry

    Hammond is best known for his impressions of Bill Clinton on Saturday Night Live, but an encounter with Grand Marnier got him sent home from Washington, DC, the night before he was to attend Clinton's second inauguration. Starting with his first drink at age 14, Hammond ran the substance-abuse gamut from prescription drugs for a variety of mental illnesses to a sordid night spent in a crack house. His memoir is a series of chronological anecdotes, beginning with his baseball-playing childhood th Hammond is best known for his impressions of Bill Clinton on Saturday Night Live, but an encounter with Grand Marnier got him sent home from Washington, DC, the night before he was to attend Clinton's second inauguration. Starting with his first drink at age 14, Hammond ran the substance-abuse gamut from prescription drugs for a variety of mental illnesses to a sordid night spent in a crack house. His memoir is a series of chronological anecdotes, beginning with his baseball-playing childhood through a roller-coaster professional life that ultimately led to his record-setting 14-year stint on SNL and exclusive private engagements for Dick Cheney and others. But his professional highs accompanied self-loathing and self-mutilation stemming from his abusive childhood. Verdict: SNL fans will enjoy the behind-the-scenes look at the show and Hammond's recollections on hosts (John McCain fares well; Paris Hilton doesn't). However, this is a rehab memoir, not a comedic reflection. Hammond's tenure on SNL assures demand, but painful admissions in a somewhat disjointed narrative aren't want readers will be expecting. [Xpress Reviews—First Look at New Books, November 4, 2011]

  19. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Just finished reading “GOD, IF YOU’RE NOT UP THERE, I’M F*CKED” written by Darrell Hammond. I read this book while listening to the audible version narrated by the author DARRELL HAMMOND. His groundbreaking memoir, God, If You’re Not Up There, I’m F*cked—is a raw look inside the troubled life and mind of an American comic genius. It turns poignant and hilarious as Hammond takes readers from the set of Saturday Night Live, where he was the show’s longest-tenured cast member, to the drug-ridden st Just finished reading “GOD, IF YOU’RE NOT UP THERE, I’M F*CKED” written by Darrell Hammond. I read this book while listening to the audible version narrated by the author DARRELL HAMMOND. His groundbreaking memoir, God, If You’re Not Up There, I’m F*cked—is a raw look inside the troubled life and mind of an American comic genius. It turns poignant and hilarious as Hammond takes readers from the set of Saturday Night Live, where he was the show’s longest-tenured cast member, to the drug-ridden streets of Harlem and into the twisting corridors of his own unflaggingly humorous consciousness. Mingling behind-the-scenes stories from television’s best-loved comedy series with a dark look inside a world-class funny man, God If You’re Not Up There,I’m F*cked is a book sure to resonate with anyone who shares a talent for performance, a love of comedy, or a desire to know how an artist can climb from the deepest despair to the very top of his profession. I read this memoir in one day. It was so authentic and “from the heart”. I was transfixed by it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kristy

    Just finished reading Darrell Hammond's book. I literally could not get enough of this book. I finished 2/3 of it in the first sitting. I've always known that in order to be brilliantly funny you have to be immensely disturbed/depressed/had a messed up childhood. This book is a testament to that fact. Darrell Hammond is an immensely brilliant comedian, as is he, in intensely disturbed/depressed person. I give him such respect for being as open as he is in this book. I think that his book is goin Just finished reading Darrell Hammond's book. I literally could not get enough of this book. I finished 2/3 of it in the first sitting. I've always known that in order to be brilliantly funny you have to be immensely disturbed/depressed/had a messed up childhood. This book is a testament to that fact. Darrell Hammond is an immensely brilliant comedian, as is he, in intensely disturbed/depressed person. I give him such respect for being as open as he is in this book. I think that his book is going to help a lot of mentally ill people. It serves as a reminder that no matter how alone you might feel sometimes, we are all connected, and we all go through similar issues. My one criticism is that the book jumped around too much. There were often times too many topics or time periods discussed within a chapter, or even on the same page. The book, like Hammond's life, felt very disjointed at times. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves Darrell Hammond and/or SNL.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Irby

    After seeing an interview on Piers Morgan, I knew I wanted to read this book in order to get the whole story. Wow. He was emotional and eloquent when talking about his childhood, but didn't go into too many details. I read most of the book in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. Throughout the book, he jumps through time and describes his addiction to drugs and alcohol and his many misdiagnosis issues with the mental health professionals. His story is one of triumph and hard work. I felt After seeing an interview on Piers Morgan, I knew I wanted to read this book in order to get the whole story. Wow. He was emotional and eloquent when talking about his childhood, but didn't go into too many details. I read most of the book in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. Throughout the book, he jumps through time and describes his addiction to drugs and alcohol and his many misdiagnosis issues with the mental health professionals. His story is one of triumph and hard work. I felt for him and what he had to endure at the hands of his deeply disturbed mother. As you read the book, you feel a sense of relief when they finally determine what is "wrong" with him. I wish him all the best as he continues to work on his lifetime of struggles. I am hopeful that this time, he has finally defeated his demons.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I wanted to read this book after hearing Hammond being interviewed on NPR. It was the most disturbing thing I've ever heard on NPR, not simply from the fact that Hammond's mother had horribly abused him, but because you could really hear the hurt in his voice. So this book deals with trauma and addiction along with the celebrity-filled world of SNL. Really well written, and I wonder if he wrote it without assistance or just had a wonderful editor or what. Lastly I want to add that just a photo o I wanted to read this book after hearing Hammond being interviewed on NPR. It was the most disturbing thing I've ever heard on NPR, not simply from the fact that Hammond's mother had horribly abused him, but because you could really hear the hurt in his voice. So this book deals with trauma and addiction along with the celebrity-filled world of SNL. Really well written, and I wonder if he wrote it without assistance or just had a wonderful editor or what. Lastly I want to add that just a photo of Darrell Hammond makes me laugh--couldn't believe he was on SNL for 14 years! I remembered a lot of the sketches he recounts.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Acolvin

    A good but not great story. It contains a few insights into working in comedy/show biz/SNL. It seems honest, written with enough sarcasm to not get too sappy or dark. A little lite, though on revealing anything too spiritual or deeper than personal tragedy, and relationship stories that were begun (marriage and child) were not brought up to date in the end. Overall, another story of a person whose life has been screwed up by addiction to alcohol and drugs. In this case, self-medication was the re A good but not great story. It contains a few insights into working in comedy/show biz/SNL. It seems honest, written with enough sarcasm to not get too sappy or dark. A little lite, though on revealing anything too spiritual or deeper than personal tragedy, and relationship stories that were begun (marriage and child) were not brought up to date in the end. Overall, another story of a person whose life has been screwed up by addiction to alcohol and drugs. In this case, self-medication was the result of deep-seated childhood / psychological issues. (Note to parents, don't pass on your problems to your kids. Instead, pass on some God-given grace!)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cory Aldrich

    SNL and I have grown up together, and Hammond's memoir is a tremendous look beyond the sketches. We only ever see these folks three minutes at a time, behind the veil of character and costume. While I would never wish the trauma he endured on my worst enemy, and am grateful for his courage in allowing us in, so that we might see something of the real person behind the personas. What is most striking to me is Hammond's tremendous gratitude towards those who walked with him and at times carried hi SNL and I have grown up together, and Hammond's memoir is a tremendous look beyond the sketches. We only ever see these folks three minutes at a time, behind the veil of character and costume. While I would never wish the trauma he endured on my worst enemy, and am grateful for his courage in allowing us in, so that we might see something of the real person behind the personas. What is most striking to me is Hammond's tremendous gratitude towards those who walked with him and at times carried him. A great read for anyone who was ever a fan. "I feel your pain."

  25. 4 out of 5

    Susan Olesen

    Abused as a child in a Sybil-esque manner, Hammond found he could calm his mother by doing voice impersonations, which lead to a natural career in comedy. The trauma of his childhood took him more than 40 years to covercome, with repeated forays into rehab for alcohol abuse, depression, panic attacks, and cutting behaviors. This book feels like his final catharsis. The book is so easy to read you feel like you're sitting there talking to him, and he never says a bad word about anyone. One of the Abused as a child in a Sybil-esque manner, Hammond found he could calm his mother by doing voice impersonations, which lead to a natural career in comedy. The trauma of his childhood took him more than 40 years to covercome, with repeated forays into rehab for alcohol abuse, depression, panic attacks, and cutting behaviors. This book feels like his final catharsis. The book is so easy to read you feel like you're sitting there talking to him, and he never says a bad word about anyone. One of the best biographies I've read in a while.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    It would be a cliche if it weren't so often true--our funniest comics are born of tragic circumstances. Childhoods don't come much crueler than Hammond's, and the SNL impressionist didn't do himself any favors as he got older with his overindulgences. Yep, while he was playing Al Gore, he was pretty effed up on crack. Hammond doesn't spend a lot of time feeling sorry for himself, and he's a sympathetic character. He's getting help but one gets the idea that he's not there yet, practically falling It would be a cliche if it weren't so often true--our funniest comics are born of tragic circumstances. Childhoods don't come much crueler than Hammond's, and the SNL impressionist didn't do himself any favors as he got older with his overindulgences. Yep, while he was playing Al Gore, he was pretty effed up on crack. Hammond doesn't spend a lot of time feeling sorry for himself, and he's a sympathetic character. He's getting help but one gets the idea that he's not there yet, practically falling into yet another relapse as he pens his epilogue. Get better, Darrell.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ruby Kristan

    I hate quitting a book half way thru, but I couldn't stick with it. Being a huge SNL fan I thought I would like it. The beginning spent too much time on childhood and baseball, then once it moved on it was all over the place, short clips for shock value. Too much random back and forth to paint a picture or even a timeline. Apparently all we need to know is he has no control when it comes to alcohol and when that doesn't work he cuts himself. I hate quitting a book half way thru, but I couldn't stick with it. Being a huge SNL fan I thought I would like it. The beginning spent too much time on childhood and baseball, then once it moved on it was all over the place, short clips for shock value. Too much random back and forth to paint a picture or even a timeline. Apparently all we need to know is he has no control when it comes to alcohol and when that doesn't work he cuts himself.

  28. 5 out of 5

    David

    Darrell Hammond has led one crazy life. I was not expecting this kind of book. Figured it'd be the usual life story with some fun stories from SNL, etc. It did have that, but Darrell has a lot of demons, too. Abuse from his mother as a child, as well as drug and alcohol abuse throughout his life, made for a pretty riveting read. Would have been a 4/5, but I thought it lost some steam in the last few chapters. Still a good and surprising read. Darrell Hammond has led one crazy life. I was not expecting this kind of book. Figured it'd be the usual life story with some fun stories from SNL, etc. It did have that, but Darrell has a lot of demons, too. Abuse from his mother as a child, as well as drug and alcohol abuse throughout his life, made for a pretty riveting read. Would have been a 4/5, but I thought it lost some steam in the last few chapters. Still a good and surprising read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mauoijenn

    Holy Jesus! What a book!! Heard Hammond talking on NPR a couple of weeks ago about this book. I knew I had to go and get it. I was a huge SNL fan during his stint on it and thought it would be neat to see what that was like. The book was funny in some spots and horrible (as in his horrible childhood) in others. But yet he is a survior none the less. :)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sean

    If you're a fan of Darrell Hammond, or just comedy, SNL, or impressionists, you'll enjoy this book. It's not all giggles and grins though, he's had quite a life. If you're a fan of Darrell Hammond, or just comedy, SNL, or impressionists, you'll enjoy this book. It's not all giggles and grins though, he's had quite a life.

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