Darrell Hammond said he thought his phone was malfunctioning and “couldn’t believe it” when President Donald Trump tweeted praise for the comedian’s impersonation of him earlier this month.
“Bring back Darrell Hammond, funnier and a far greater talent!” Trump tweeted on March 2, imploring “Saturday Night Live” to replace the show’s current Trump impersonator, Alec Baldwin.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Hammond, who was replaced by Baldwin as the show’s Trump in 2016, said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday.
“I was just out of bed. I put my phone in the next room, and I started hearing it ding because I just got a text. And then it really started dinging. And I thought to myself, ‘That damn phone is malfunctioning. It must be dying.’ It was just ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!”
Hammond said he ran into “SNL” showrunner Lorne Michaels later the same day, and Michaels cracked a joke.
“Lorne swept past me in the hallway with some of his people, and he leaned in and said, ‘The president knows your name. Yes, he knows who you are.’ I don’t know why, it made me laugh,” Hammond said.
Hammond has spoken about Trump’s tweet before, telling The Washington Post last week: “You know, I’m just like fooling around in my apartment, and the next minute Anderson Cooper wants to talk to me? What? Someone said to me, you realize people in Jaipur, India, are saying ‘Who’s Darrell Hammond?’ Do you realize that? In Jaipur. It’s true.”
When asked why Michaels swapped Baldwin for Hammond as the Trump impersonator to begin with, Hammond told the Post that the show “needed another force, on an acting level, to have the power that Trump was embodying then.”
“The Darrell Trump . . . it wasn’t the Trump that had gotten darker. It was the Trump from ‘The Apprentice.’”
In any case, long live Darrell Hammond. And may we ― and the president ― be lucky enough to see his Trump impression again.