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The following content is created in consultation with La Jolla Playhouse. It does not reflect the work or opinions of NBC San Diego's editorial staff. To learn more about La Jolla Playhouse, visit lajollaplayhouse.org.

During his record-breaking tenure on Saturday Night Live, Darrell Hammond's spot-on celebrity impressions were the stuff of legend. From Sean Connery to Donald Trump, John Travolta to Bill Clinton, Hammond imbued his impressions with equal parts hilarity and authenticity. Critics and viewers alike applauded him for his accuracy and range, while he received a standing ovation at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner following a surprise appearance alongside President Clinton.

But there was a darker story behind the humor and acclaim. Abused as a child, Hammond battled with self-harming issues as well as a crippling drug and alcohol dependency that nearly derailed his promising career. Misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder and other psychiatric issues, the talented comedian shined in the spotlight of SNL only to breakdown backstage. And yet, through it all, he survived and thrived, battling his demons to become SNL's longest running cast member and a celebrated actor, with roles from Hollywood to Broadway.

Now, the SNL vet who uttered the show's famous "Live From New York, it's Saturday Night Live!" catchphrase more than any other cast member wants to share his personal story with you. And, for us lucky San Diegans, it'll have its world premiere right here at the lovely, Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse.

Directed by La Jolla Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and running from January 31 through March 8, The Darrell Hammond Project offers an unflinching account of the harrowing events that gave birth to Hammond's brilliant talent. Join Hammond on “the detective story of his own life” as he delves into the trauma and tenacity that made him a beloved entertainer. Full of raw emotion, humor and plenty of the impressions that made him famous, The Darrell Hammond Project is the story of how a gifted star rose from the darkest corners of human experience.

The Darrell Hammond Project is the perfect evening for any fan of comedy, SNL and the triumph of human spirit over adversity. For more information and to purchase tickets to this unforgettable world premier, click here.
 

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