He’s known for his dead-on impressions of former Presidents Clinton and Trump on “Saturday Night Live,” but now Darrell Hammond is poised to play another famed political figure on stage.
Hammond will take on the role of the late Sen. Everett McKinley Dirksen in a staged reading beginning next month in New York, organizers announced Friday.
The play is set in the Illinois Republican’s final days, before he succumbed to lung cancer in 1969 at age 73. The Dirksen Senate Office Building at the Capitol is named for the minority leader.
In the show, Dirksen “holds a pre-interview with a young, Black woman television journalist helping to prepare a profile on him. Their no-holds-barred discussion looks at the senator’s life, his legacy on racial equality, and the political debates and personal tumult of the Vietnam War experienced by families across America,” according to a news release.
“Like other people of destiny I’ve had the privilege to study — Reagan, Capote, Clinton, Churchill — Everett Dirksen is utterly himself,” Hammond, 67, said of taking on the role of the lawmaker. “There’s no one else like him. Not even close.”
Hammond left “SNL” in 2009 after more than two decades with the NBC sketch comedy show. He was one of its longest-running cast members.
The play by writer Wade Dooley was commissioned by the Dirksen Congressional Center in 2021. The nonprofit said the staged reading would be performed over a two-week period and marks “the next step in a play’s development.”
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