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tv   Piers Morgan Tonight  CNN  November 9, 2011 9:00pm-10:00pm EST

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enough with the tristan talk already. tristan this, tristan that. let's talk about you, nancy, because i happen to think the "dancing with the stars" judges and the voters, the whole system failed and failed miserably. this verdict was wrong. you know, friends, i'm suddenly starting to understand why nancy gets so fired up on her hln show. can we take a caller or something? no callers? okay. in any case, the verdict was wrong, justice did not prevail, but in the end i like to tiny a way nancy won. and you know what, we all won. who thought we'd get a chance to see nancy grace do a cartwheel? zowie. what other thing would lead to a nationwide debate with a costume failing? i voted for her multiple times. friends, even though in this case is justice system has failed, we still have to trust it is the best season going on "the ridiculist." piers morgan starts now.
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tonight, outrage -- the jackson family busts nbc for buying conrad murray's story. why jermaine jackson finds the whole thing sickening. also, a senior member of president obama's inner circle on his biggest frustration. >> this president came to washington wanting to change politics here and change the political tone and bring people together. and he's been frustrated by his inability to do that. and an extraordinarily emotional and revealing interview with darrell hammond. dark days of the "saturday night live" funny man. >> it was pretty damn bad. you know, it involved being taken from there in a straitjacket. >> his childhood with an abusive mother and troubled father. why did you feel differently about your father? >> i think because he -- he tried. >> this is "piers morgan tonight."
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good evening. it's been a long two years for michael jackson's family, but now with the conviction of dr. conrad murray on involuntary manslaughter, they're speaking out and they're angry about a documentary about michael's doctor. jermaine jackson is michael's older brother. the family understandably pretty incensed by the revelation that conrad murray has been cooperating with this documentary for several years, apparently. tell me how you all feel. >> we're very angry. we're angry because dr. murray is a liar and he had his chance in court, he was tried by 12 jurors and they found him guilty. so anything he says is really irrelevant. he had his chance to stand up. he is a coward. he's a liar. he didn't stand up in court. plus, this had to be for money, because that's -- he must have been paid big to do this. >> there are lots of different reports. apparently, officially, he got paid $1 to do this. but apparently the networks have
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been asked to put up as much as a million dollars for the footage. so clearly the truth hasn't quite emerged yet about who's paid what. >> see, stuff like this, this is why i wrote the book. i wrote the book because i want people to remember michael, the human being, and not all the negative things about his death. but for conrad murray to -- i can't believe -- we're going to court, waiting for a verdict, he was doing a documentary. that is ridiculous. >> cynics will say, you know, who maybe are not massive fans of michael jackson, will say, come on, jermaine, you're doing a book about your brother. he's entitled to have his say. >> wait, wait, wait. >> what would you say to that? >> i can't believe they gave me stick for writing a book that's the truth and i stopped before the verdict. i stopped before the trial. i'm telling the truth about my brother. i'm defending my brother. what's copping out of conrad murray's mouth is lies. he had his chance in court. he should have stood up. he's a coward. he's a liar. and the fans shouldn't even worry about this because 12
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jurors unanimously found him guilty. so whatever he says is irrelevant. we don't care. we want to move on and focus on the person, the beautiful person that michael was. that's why this book was written. >> the family has written to nbc, i believe, today demanding clarification of exactly how much money they paid for the documentary. if it turns out that conrad murray has made large sums of money or is intending to, what will the family do about this? >> who cares about the money? the money is not important. what's going to come out of his mouth is lies. the money is not important. what's going to come out of his mouth is lies. he had his chance. he had his chance in court, and he did not stand up. he is a coward, piers. he's a coward. he's a liar. we don't care. >> he's a part of you, jermaine. obviously, we had this very emotional interview before about six weeks ago when you didn't know how the trial was going to go. you feared the worst. you feared your brother's reputation would be smeared. i'm not sure the worst fears
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were realized, but certainly your conviction then that conrad murray had effectively caused death of your brother has been borne out by the verdict. >> i think conrad murray got what he deserved. i don't like the charge. if you ask me the question how do i feel after the verdict, i feel the same way before the verdict. i just -- because i feel that conrad murray is the failure to a bigger hand. and the fact that he did not care for my brother, he got what he deserved. but the charges should have been much greater. the charges were weak. i mean, you can go into a hospital and steal propofol and probably get more time than he got. >> should a network, nbc, or anybody else, be airing this documentary, do you think? >> no. no, because here's a guy who's a liar. the jury, the system has found him guilty. why would they want to -- says a lot about the networks. this is msnbc. i'm sorry. this is trash. this is bull crap. it should not -- listen, i really don't want to give that
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much light to it because it's not important what he says. it's irrelevant. it's irrelevant. he's found guilty. 12 jurors unanimously found him guilty. >> is there a part of you, jermaine or your father, curious to hear what he has to say? >> no. >> even though he didn't say it in court. >> not at all. not at all. how do you order four gallons of propose poll and say you're trying to wean my brother off of it? how do you say, well, maybe it was an accident. why didn't you call 911? so what's going to come out of his mouth? >> we asked nbc. they declined to comment about this. i would imagine they're considering, i guess, the reaction from the family. >> this is wrong. it's wrong. i really don't want to bring that much light to it because it's not what's important. what's important is that we celebrate michael's life and we remember the good things, the good things that he's contributed to the world. >> what sentence do you think he should get? obviously the maximum is four
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years. >> put it like this -- if they gave him all the time in the world, it's not going to bring my brother back. it's not. >> i want to play you a clip from the moment that he was convicted, because most the family were there. i want to see what you all were feeling in that moment. watch this. >> we, the jury in the above-entitled action, find the defendant, conrad robert murray, guilty of the crime of involuntary manslaughter. >> in that moment, what did you all feel? >> what i was feeling, i felt the same, because this is just a process we're going through. there's a lot of questions that the family had before this trial started, and we were hoping to get answers. there's still a lot of answers -- questions that needs to be answered. >> the key thing, jermaine, i think, if i can just throw something at you which i think is really, really fascinating that came out today, one of the
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jurors went public and said there were three reasons that they convicted him unanimously, as you said, all 12. one was his failure to call 911 immediately. second, his failure to have backup medical equipment. and thirdly for leaving the room. she said that the combination of these things almost certainly meant that michael died when he could have been saved. now that's a pretty dramatic thing for the jury to say. that's directly saying his actions killed michael. >> yes. so why are they interested in hearing what he has to say in a documentary? i'm just livid because i can't believe that while we were going home during the trial he was filming a documentary and it had to be for money. but to -- i think the jurors are right. they made the right decision. his negligence, his inability to take care of my brother. at the same time, he's the finger to a bigger hand. and there are lot of questions that we need answers to. >> there were two things that happened in the trial which i
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would imagine from the family's point of view were deeply distressing. one was the issuing of the photograph of michael after he died. how did you -- how did you react to that when you knew that was happening? >> i felt for my mother. i felt for my mother because to see your son dead on the bed, i thought it was crazy to even show these photos. what was he thinking to take michael during the time when he was sedated and for people to think, well, he's an addict because of the way he's talking? michael was sedated. and still he's thinking about children, building a children's hospital, and for those who had questions whether he was this child molester, which is so ridiculous to think that, his intentions were to take care of children. >> you mentioned that the recordings -- i want to play a little bit of that recording because it was very shocking, i mean, to me, to his fans, to the family, to him, michael like this.
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"my performances will be up there helping my children and always be my dream. i love them. i love them because i didn't have a childhood. i had no childhood. i feel their pain." >> piers, that's someone who's sedated. to play this, i don't know whether it was the prosecution's decision to play this, but what came out of this is to show his feelings for children. >> had you ever heard michael like that? >> never heard him like that. >> had any of the family ever -- >> never, ever, ever. >> i was so shocked when i heard this. >> never. what was his intention to tape this? >> what did you think? >> he was probably going to use it. >> why would anyone tape him like that? >> because he's a liar. he's a -- why? look at what he's done. >> well, jermaine, i wish you all the very best, you and your
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family. it's been an incredibly difficult few weeks for you. i'm glad you got some kind of justice even if you feel probably not enough. >> yes. thank you. >> thank you, jermaine. hollywood is buzzing tonight over the news that eddie murphy is dropping out as host of the oscars. murphy's buddy, producer bret ratliff, quit under fire over his public use of an anti-gay slur over the weekend. the academy said he'll be replaced by brian grazer. i talked to him just a few days ago. you're doing the oscars. >> i'm producing the oscar, yes. >> and you're hosting the oscars. a recipe for comedic carnage. >> brian's a good friend and i said if you were producing the oscars, what would you do? and brian said, well, think about in the past, the best host, the three best hosts that have ever existed have been bob hope, johnny carson, and billy crystal. so basically he was saying to me, go get a comedian. >> i certainly agree. >> i happened to be looking at eddie murphy every day working.
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>> was ben -- >> no. this was after he wrapped the movie. ben's busy filming multiple movies. >> yeah, and also eddie is -- i mean, he is a brilliant stand-up comedian who hasn't done stand-up for 20-something years. and -- >> yes. >> a big job. >> one of the great comebacks of all time. >> right. we think it will be. >> i saw the interview he did with you. very funny, saying it's going to be the worst oscars ever. you know, sort of saying i'm going to urinate over everyone. well, members of the academy, i'm available. in fact, my schedule just cleared a bit because i can exclusively reveal that i'm"am." i've been a judge six years and loved every single second. but i've discovered jug tolg my surprise is a bit more difficult than i thought. so i'm going to focus on what will be a huge year at cnn with the upcoming election. want to thank nbc, free mantle and my great friend, simon cowell, for giving me such a wonderful opportunity on that amazing show. and i want to congratulate
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sharon, howie, and mick, who will doubtless be very relieved to learn they no longer have to work with me. coming up after the break, my white house interview with a member of the inner circle. what are the president's frustrations and what are his chances for being re-elected?
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but when one year away from the presidential election. with high anxiety, president obama is in for the political fight of his life. i'm here with his communications chief, dan pfeiffer, to ask him what the plan is. dan, very nice surroundings you have here. >> thank you. welcome to the white house. >> thank you. it's a pleasure to be here. here we are, we're a year away, and whatever you say to me now we both know you're getting into election mode. where do you think things are from the white house point of view as we sit? >> i think we are headed for a very close, hard-fought election, and the thing is i would have said the same thing to you about how close this election would be the week that bin laden was killed or we created 200,000 jobs a month as i would say now when we're having a tougher economic situation. it's a polarized country, we've been through some of the toughest times, so it's going to be a close election.
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but i'm confident the president will win. >> one thing extraordinary about the president is his demeanor. as all around is in chaos, the president has always maintained a confident and assured demeanor. does he know something we don't? or is he just quite cool under pressure? shoo well, he is quite cool under pressure. it's one of the reasons he got elected, because when the financial system was on the verge of collapse late in the 2008 campaign, he demonstrated his xas pi to deal with difficult issues with a clear, steady approach. i think that's benefited him as he's made some very tough decisions here in the white house, whether it's domestic decisions about taking the unpopular decision to stave auto industry, the desags making he had to make the night he ordered the operation to get bin laden, the decisions about the iraq war, the afghanistan war, that's benefited him. he has a great confidence in the american people's capacity to understand the challenges we have and the approach we need to do, more of the politics in the moment but what's in the long-term interests of the
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country. >> despite all that, you're still getting whacked around by the media and the public. there are protesters down the street at wall street and throughout america. there's a lot of dissatisfaction out there. how much can you blame on george bush? and how much do you guys have to take it on the chin for the actions you've taken? >> it's important to understand the mess this president inherited, to understand we didn't get into the mess overnight, we're not going to get out of it overnight. it's not just the financial crisis of 2008. it's been a decade-long economic crisis for the middle class. wages have stagnated, college has gotten more expensive, health care has gotten more expensive. the american people have suffered far long time. they have to understand this president's plan to get us out of this. that's what he's arctic lating with this jobs ak. >> he seems disappointed he hasn't been able to do more in the first term. >> of course. they've been caught up in partnership, gridlock.
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he wishes there are more things we could be doing to help people get jobs and middle-class families. he wishes he could do do those things. dealing with, you know, comprehensive immigration reform, things we've pushed for and he wants to do we haven't been able to get through, which is why it's important he get re-elected. there's more work to do. the project we started in 2008 isn't going to be over in four years. there's more work to do. >> president clinton has been out and about this week promoting his new book. he has a firm plan there to get america back to work. is it helpful to have a former democrat president who's so popular out there giving his version of having america back to work, or would you rather he kept it quiet a bit, say it privately to the president? >> he does it privately and publicly, and it's helpful in both cases. if you look at what's in president clinton's book, there is essentially 95% to 99% agreement with the agenda president obama is putting forward, whether it's putting construction workers back to work, building school, putting construction workers back to
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work making buildings more energy efficient, cutting tacks for the middle class. all those things president clinton and president obama agree with. i think it's helpful, although the press like to focus on the 1% to 5% difference between the presidents, the hangover of the 2008 campaign, i think it's helpful because it shows you have president clinton who presided over unprecedented prosperity in this country, creating 22 million jobs, president obama who's promising to put forth policies that president clinton did, uplifted the middle class, created a fairer economy. i think it's helpful. >> do you think the election will almost certainly now be fought not just on the economy but specifically on jobs? do you think that if the job figures come down significantly between now and then your chances are dramatically higher of getting re-elected? and conversely, if they go up from where we are now, if they go much higher than, say, 9.5% or something, that you'd be in real trouble? >> well, they say the economy -- the better the economy is, the better it is for the income ben president. that's always been true. and it's jobs -- if the
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unemployment rate goes significantly down, that will be helpful to this president. if it goes up, obviously, that would be unhelpful. but politics is ar, not science. i saw this article in "the new york times" magazine which put in an equation saying if gdp is this and the president's approval is this and the outcome will be "y." >> that was obama's toast. >> yes. >> where i come from, that isn't good. president clinton also made a point in his book saying if the american public genuinely believe, but one of the reasons why president obama has not been able to achieve more is because of the intransigence of the republicans and their deliberate policy of obstruction at every turn, then actually that would be a vote for president obama. >> i think you're beginning to see the american people recognize what's standing in the way of progress on the economy. they know the president has the american jobs ak, a specific plan, commonsense ideas to grow the economy and create jobs. they know the republicans are standing in the way.
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two or three polls in the last several days show the majority of americans think the republicans are blocking economic progress for political reasons, either to defeat this president or help their own political process. i think that will be something, whoever the eventual republican is, will have to answer for. >> let's take a break and come back and talk about republicans. i want to know who you most fear. my sinus symptoms come with a cough that stays even after i treat... [ male announcer ] truth is, most sinus formulas don't treat a cough. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus sinus liquid gels fights sinus symptoms plus cough.
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back with white house communications chief dan pfeiffer. dan, let's turn to the republicans. >> okay. >> they're clearly revving up to choose their nominees. it's been a brutal process. we've seen five different people leading the field, only for them to fall back again. what do you make of their battle so far? >> well, i think it speaks to real uncertainty on their side about who the right candidate is. and you can see this tension between folks who -- the tea party, which has a lot of the energy and is driving a lot of the campaign, has fuelled the candidacies of people like herrmann caine and congresswoman bachmann, and the rest of the party. that tension has been at the heart of a lot of the problems the republican party has had in the last year. >> try and be honest here. who do you most fear? who would you least likely to face? >> by answering that, i'm giving a massive fund-raising boost to whoever the person is. >> or you're killing it off. >> either one. i don't know what the effect would be but it wouldn't be good
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for president obama, so i can't answer that question. >> talk about herman cain. obviously, he came out of nowhere. he used to sell pizzas. he's not a politician in any conventional sense. in the last ten days he's been the center of this huge scandal. what do you make of herman cain as a character? do you think he'll is survive the scandal? what do you think of the prospect potentially of a black american against a black american in an american presidential race, which has never happened before? >> i'm not an expert on republican primary politics. obviously, herman cain has united some dormant enthusiasm of the republican party. he's reached levels in the polls tho other has reached, certainly not governor romney or governor perry. i'm not one to decide how the recent allegations affect his candidacy. i do think that there is something to be said for the fact that if the election were held today and you believe some of these polls you would have an african-american president running against an african-american standard-bearer
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for the republican party and that speaks to a lot of progress in this country. i think it's a powerful symbol of the fact we're talking about herman cain's 9-9-9 plan, talking about his ten-year godfather's pizza, not talking about the race, and that's a great thing. >> mitt romney has been the front runner for a long time but appears to be almost plateauing in the polling with his own party. what does the president think of mitt romney? >> he's always appreciated governor romney's leadership in passing his health care bill in massachusetts. you know, as we've mentioned -- >> every time you say that you cost him about another 200,000 votes, obvious. >> i may say it again in here. but, you know, that was, you know, as the president said, a model for what we did nationally. governor romney has a long record. he's going to have to defend that record. he's taken positions on both sides of every issue far long period of time. that will be the question. >> the president is a very good debater. he's a very good campaigner.
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presumably his absolute dream would be an opponent like rick perry. you know, rick perry, governor perry has a very different record from this president. it would be an election -- a big election about big issues. he is a -- he's been the at least consistent in his very right-wing views and he stands by them, so that will be an interesting debate. >> newt gingrich has begun to get a bit of traction in the polls and is a formidable political figure, obviously, and has a lot of political history on his side. he's said if he does get the nomination, he'd like to have three seven-hour debates with the president. i can't imagine the president has that time in his schedule. >> i think you're probably right. 21 hours of debating is probably more than this president or any president could fit into their very busy schedule. i can only imagine in this day and age they would be -- you guys would stop covering them midway through the first one. >> you've been a stoic defender of the president, as we would expect.
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you're employed by him to be so. if you were being candid and critical and revealing perhaps some of the conversations you've had with the president where things haven't gone well, on your scorecard for the first term, where do you beat yourself up the most? where have you been least successful? >> i think -- this president came to washington wanting to change politics here and change the political tone and bring people together. and he has said this publicly. he's been frustrated by his inability to do that. now, it takes two to tango and you need a willing partner. what we wanted to do was break out of the ideological partisan divide that has kept us from doing big things in this country over the last decade or so. we wanted to fix that problem. he has not been able to do that to the degree he wanted to do it. >> funny, the president fought the last election on hope and change. what are the kind of words you would like to see as a cornerstone of the next campaign which have perhaps a better chance of overall success? >> yeah, somewhat jokingly said
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to us this other day that our bumper sticken should be -- bin laden's dead, gm's alive, which i think that would be a great bumper sticker and maybe the campaign would sell t-shirts to that effect. but it speaks to the president's character, his capacity to make tough decisions. we will defend vigorously the change this president has brought. he's change wrd the focus is in this country, that we're now focused -- you know, we have rules of the road for wall street, we're going to fight for the middle class. he's given them tax cults, don't ask, don't tell, big things. we'll defend those things and have a debate with the republican where is we go from here. >> will it come down basically to i will get america back to work as an election fledge, a look in his eyes and either believe him or believe his opponent? >> that's a part of it, but it's more than just the americans who aren't working. it's about the middle kloss in this country who work hard, play by the rules and have been hurting through no fault of their own, while they've seen wall street, corporations and the wealthiest succeed
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tremendously over the last decade. the question is who fights for them. this president, we used to say during the campaign, made it clear that he would run through walls for the middle class. that's the whole campaign in 2012 and that's the kind of president he'll be. >> dan pfeiffer, thank you very much. >> thank you, chris. when we come back, an emotional interview with darrell hammond, the dark side of the "saturday night live" funny man.
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i've interviewed many comedians on this show and always had a suspicion that there's been dark stuff in their lives that makes them chase humor and a laugh. i've never had anything quite like this. darrell hammond from "saturday night live." when i finished your book, it was one of the most d, i don't know, moving, inspiring in many ways, depressing, sad, shocking things. >> yeah. >> -- i think i've ever read. >> really. >> yes. >> wow. >> did you feel that when you finished it, when you closed the book and thought, that's my life? >> yes, i did. i thought -- i thought it was probably going to be a little bit -- a little bit too dark for people to handle. but it's my story and i told it the best that i could. >> there's a quote there, which i think probably sums everything
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up in terms of what happened to you as a young man. i'm three or four years old, my mother is holding me close to her with one arm. in her free hand, she holds a serrated steak knife. slowly she sticks it into the center of my tongue, making an incision about one-quarter inch to one-half-inch long. >> yes. >> i couldn't believe what i was read being. >> why? >> i thought you were this funmy guy like donald trump or bill clinton on "saturday night live." i'm reading this, why would your mother do this? what effect would it have on you? what effect did it have on your life? >> well, it's -- that's a lot -- that's a lot of -- there's a lot to think about. what's it done to my life, i spent most of my life, i guess, recovering from moments like that, you know. >> she hit you in the stomach with a hammer. >> yes. >> gave you electric shocks. >> yes. >> basically tortured you. >> yes. >> your father is a war vet ann and alcoholic who just wants to end his life, and you're just surrounded with this unrelenting misery.
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>> yes. >> it seems. >> yes. >> do you remember it vividly or have you been able to -- >> i don't. i mean, i only put in the book about five or ten minutes of the first 18 years of my life. i don't remember all of it. you know, i've been to lots and lots of shrinks and i've been so some pretty august institutions who are telling me we can't handle this case here, you know. but it's not like i'm the only person in the united states or on this planet that has to enter into an agreement with a perpetrator to remain quiet. it does happen. >> do you have any theories yourself about why your mother -- >> because the same thing happened to her, i think. >> she'd been abused. >> i think she was abused. i did take pains in the book to point out that i did spend some time meditating over the idea that my mother had once been very innocent just like everybody else, you know? i had this sort of vid dream about that one night, and i took it to heart, you know? i was trying to find a way to
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not be angry about my life anymore. you know? >> as you got older, what was your relationship with your mother like? >> well, i -- i called her and said i'm in therapy for trauma and child abuse and worse. and she dropped her southern accent and in a very husky tone and deliberately and permanently said, "don't ever call here again" and hung up. >> what age were you then? >> i was already on "saturday night live," so i was getting up there already, you know. i think that the thing about -- what i wanted to write about was when a victim to some kind of abuse stays -- agrees to stay quiet about it, and that's kind of what happened in our house. i mean, you know, you think that it's because, a, they could make it much worse on you, but b,
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really, your mom might abandon you if you confront her on this? and that's ended up being what happened. and then i d -- >> do you have any more contact with her? >> not until her deathbed. >> and how did that make you feel when she died? >> i felt nothing. i was very moved for my father. you know -- whew. >> it's not surprising to me that you're so emotional about it. >> i didn't feel anything. you know, i didn't feel anything at all. it felt like i'd never met her. you know? she was a very gift and confusing and attractive type of person who knew how to work the room that she was in to convince the people in the room that they were right about jesus and things -- good things were on the way, you know? >> why did you feel differently about your father? >> i think because he -- he tried. >> and because he'd been through so much in the war.
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>> yeah. i think he tried to apologize and explain himself. can i have a -- a tissue or something? >> yeah, sure. >> he tried as best he could. i mean, he -- the best that he could do was put war medals on his chest when he was dying, like i got these and these and here's what happened and here's where i was while i was alive. i wasn't so good at a lot of stuff, you know -- >> was he aware of what your mother was doing? >> i don't think so. he was never there. >> he was apologetic for his own negligence? >> for not -- for not being as good as he wanted to be. thank you. thank you. for not being as good as he wanted to be. yeah. i think that, you know, he was genuinely obsessed with the war that he had fought in europe and he never, ever recovered from it, and i'm not sure he ever really did. i think he saw things there that he thought were cautionary tales of what can happen on earth,
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yeah. i mean, he was afraid to go to church for a long time, you know, because i guess he killed a lot of people. >> when i see you now, never having met you before, i can see this -- all the time you must have been living with this kind of searing pain through all this. how did you juggle it? >> well, when i got old enough i started drinking, you know? when i left my parents' home when i was 19, i went to the university of florida, and within 24 hours i was in the mental health department and went in 20 minute, i was being told by the director there that they didn't have what i needed there. and this is a massive university. so it -- i just -- they holded me up on drugs, antipsychotics, all kinds of weird drugs, and i drank. and that's how i survived far long time. >> let's take a break and get into "saturday night live." i guess in many ways it saved you. >> sure. >> this came along at a time
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when you needed something. >> sure. >> be interesting to see how you feel about that. >> thank you so much. [ man and woman ] hello? hello?! what are these guys doing? [ horn honks ] could you please not honk while this guy's telling me about his chevy volt? is that that new... is that the electric car? yeah. but it takes gas too. ask him how much he spends on gas. how much does he spend on gas? how much do you spend on gas? how much do i spend on gas? if i charge regularly, i fill up like once a month. he only has to fill up about once a month. [ woman ] wow. that's amazing. whoa. whoa. how do you top great vacations? whoa. getting twice the points on great vacations. whoa! use chase sapphire preferred and now get two times the points on travel, and two times
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who can propel america out of this economic free-fall and put us back on track? i tell them barack obama is the only democratic nominee for president. >> that doesn't exactly sound like a ringing endorsement. >> i don't think i could be any more clear.
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i belong to the democratic party. barack obama is also in the democratic party. and i'm not a party wrecker. i love parties. >> that was darrell hammond's impeccable impersonation of bill clinton on "saturday night live." i guess bill clinton became the -- you know, the standard-bearing ham monday impression. >> i guess so. >> although there were other great ones -- donald trump, ted koppel, sean connery. which was your favorite? >> i guess clinton is the one that you get the most mileage out of. he's the one that people care about the most. i mean, i've had people ask me to do clinton in the most bizarre possible -- >> come on. where? >> oh, are you kidding me? like getting a coloncolonoscopy? >> no. >> oh, sure. >> why were you having a colonoscopy? >> no, just right before it, like they're just getting ready to insert that object in that place god never designed for that object, and, i mean, like, the woman put the need million my arm and starts so that you
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can feel the medication starting to come in, they're going to move me to twilight, and just before i'm about to black out, she leans in and goes, "what would clinton say?" so i said -- i said, what is a nice girl like you doing in a place like this? so you do it. once in a while. >> although you'll wish you never see that because wherever you go, no matter how embarrassing, you'll be asked to do the clinton. >> sure. but really, just performing a colonoscopy? i think that's the most extreme example. >> the only chance she'd get in her life. >> what would clinton do. wow? really? >> my favorite was donald trump because i love donald trump. can i have a bit of trump, please? >> trump? um -- gosh. what was the line i used to do? donald trump, well, you know, trump is -- home base with mr. trump is this. you know, like you're over there
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going, so i was over there yesterday and we had a sandwich and then went to a game and the whole time he's going -- then he starts going, i remember this one time, you know, but -- you know. >> i think we should play you something now. we've got a tribute to you from the great man. >> all right. >> watch this. >> so i'm interviewing darrell hammond, who does a very good donald trump, i have to say. what do you make of his impression? >> well, he's been amazing. he was on "saturday night live" for year and really, i don't think anybody ever hit me like him. but i think he's amazing. he's a great guy, and he has me down to a "tshg" and others. but people think he does it the best. >> wow. >> rare praise indeed. >> super fly. >> actually, your head cut in there. you could be brothers. >> well, i have this bland face that the makeup artists say you can paint on, because they say that you can't make everyone look like someone but you can always make me -- i mean, look,
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it's very bland. and then it just can be transformed around. >> where do you get the ability to do impressions from, do you think? >> i guess from my mom. my mom was great at it. >> really? >> really good. yeah. really good. >> wow. after all we've discussed, that's fascinating. >> yes. it transported her. it mesmerized her to talk like other people. >> who did she do? >> coaches, teachers, people in the neighborhood. >> anyone? >> yeah. it was pretty incredible. >> did it make you laugh? >> no, i didn't laugh too much. i just realized that she was being transported and her stake could be changed by doing my 7 or 8-year-old version of paul scoffield in "the christmas carol." in the same way that it transported her, her eyes would get dreamy and trippy.
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>> so she was very talented as well as being very damaging. >> growing up in the '50s in the south, i don't care what color you are, you might as well be a whore. it was a hellish life. >> do you think being like that and with your father the way he was, do you think that she was incredibly frustrated? >> she said the only reason that she got married was because her dad was going to beat the living day lights out of her. here's how you live, here's where you go to church, this is what jesus is, these are the hand gestures that you use. inately he knew how to make the room about the other person and not about herself. >> have you been able to forgive
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her in your mind? >> yes. i have been able to stop dwelling on it and hating on it. once i reached the point that she was an innocent girl, that's when the flashbacks stopped, the nightmares stopped, cutting stopped, and that's when people instead of being on seven medications i was reduced to one or two, you know. >> you talk about cutting. i mean, you self-harmed a lot. you did it while on saturday night live. you even went to crack at one stage. >> but never on air. i never went on high. >> i was going to ask you that. >> never. >> i would not fly that airplane under the influence. that's ridiculous. >> never attempted? >> no. it was too hard. >> i've seen some people do it. they can get it right, it's amazing. >> not me. i wasn't going to walk out there in front of millions of people and have to hit my mark under the influence. it's ridiculous.
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>> are you clean now? >> yeah. >> you don't drink or take drugs? >> well, i haven't done as well as i wanted to at that, but it's been going pretty well. >> let's take a break and when we come back, i want to talk about how you got back on your feet, left "saturday night live," and what you intend to do with it. >> thank you.
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back here with darrell hammond. it's been a roller coaster ride.
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for me and for you. tell me about your life now. are you happy? are you happier than you have been before? >> i think so. i even sometimes have good nights. i'm a lot happier than i was. i'm involved with groups that deal with things that i've been through and that's the best part of my life. >> do you think saturday night life stars would be shocked by this? >> i don't know. i'm sure there were rumors going around when i was melting down once a week over there. >> did they know about your background, about your mother and stuff? >> i don't know. i know the pro us doers over there and you, they went pretty far out of their way to help me. i think on some level they understood, as you mentioned off the air, that probably the job saved my life and also, you know, we did have a discussion after one particularly varialent
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event where they said, if this happens again, you can't be on the show anymore. we did have one of those discussions. >> how bad was the incident? >> it was pretty damn bad. you know, it involved being taken from there in a straight jacket. and who wants to -- >> from the studio? >> actually, i think in the book it says, the offices was actually the clinic underneath the theater. yeah. >> an extraordinary kind of parallel life. where i just know you like most people, the guy who does the donald and then i'm reading this stuff and going, wow, how could this have been going on with this guy? he just seems like he's the happiest, funniest guy that you'd ever know. >> i've been to enough hospitals that i don't know that i could have paid for all of that without "snl" money.
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>> what are you doing career-wise now? >> well, i'm doing "are we there yet" and i'll be doing that next season. i have a movie with johnny knoxville called "scout masters" and i'm going to be working with will ferrell, funny or die. and i think that's a lot right there. >> what ambitions do you have professionally and personally? >> i want to play truman and i did almost everything that i wanted to do except for play truman capote. and look, look, a guy like trump, i wouldn't behind doing a job with him sometime. >> i wish you would. >> i would love that. except he's a foot taller than me which is kind of difficult. i look like a mini version. >> imagine him