It was Whoopi Goldberg who first called him “the shape-shifter,” and Darrell Hammond was “extremely flattered” when he heard that one. “It might sound a little woo-woo mystical,” he writes in his new memoir God, If You’re Not Up There, I’m F*cked: Tales of Stand-up, ‘Saturday Night Live’ and Other Mind-Altering Mayhem, “but truth be told, it might actually be the best description of what I do. According to mythology, though, a real shape-shifter has trouble returning to his original form after a while, whereas I, unfortunately, had no such issue.”
It’s hard to know just what returning to his original form means, exactly, when it comes to Darrell Hammond, although it’s apparent that what he means here is returning to the addict, depressive, bipolar, multiple-personality schizophrenic. Those are all diagnoses Hammond has received and shares in these pages, but it’s the last of them, more than any other, that makes coherent definition impossible, even if all of them, to some extent, describe someone who’s a shape-shifter even when not on the clock.
Read the rest of "The Shape-Shifter" at The Rumpus.