Comedian Darrell Hammond is a long way from 30 Rockefeller Plaza—a long way from the bright lights of the New York City skyline, from yellow taxicabs jockeying for position outside the marquee, and from the flamboyant Donald Trump hairpiece he hung up almost two years ago after he stopped playing that role on Saturday Night Live.
So where is Hammond? He’s almost 1,200 miles south in Melbourne, Florida, clad in his trademark black trench coat and Yankees cap, looking for snakes in the overgrowth of a wooded, suburban backyard that sits adjacent to his childhood home. “Gimme that stick,” he deadpans to a cameraman. “Not like I don’t have any training at this. You can’t kill ’em with it. Just flip ’em and run.”
It’s one of the opening scenes from Cracked Up, a new documentary chronicling Hammond’s long struggle with the trauma he experienced at the hands of his severely abusive parents. An official selection at the 2018 DOC NYC film festival, it’s already gaining attention for the powerful way it spotlights the impact of early childhood trauma, even influencing legislation around the issue.
The clinical community, too, is singing its praises. “The world desperately needs to see this movie,” said trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk. “It tells it like it is, unflagging.” Renowned Buddhist…