He played politicians, including Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and John McCain, during his 14 seasons on "SNL," and was brought back in April to reprise his role as Clinton (he's also been the "SNL" announcer since 2014). As of now, he doesn't have a "specific assignment" to play Donald Trump, another one of his characters who's back in the news, but said, "you'd hope that happens, but you don't always get the stuff you want over there."
Clinton and Trump are Hammond's favorite politicians to play. "I've seen such a more energized Trump, a louder Trump, a more passionate Trump," he said. "He's more intense right now."
He said people like Trump are great for comedy because the best jokes are ones that reach a wide audience, and people know who Trump is: "He's all over the place, and he's doing a lot. and he's saying a lot." Hammond said he goes through "phases" watching TV news and started watching again last week. Trump was everywhere.
"The politician has to do something that the most amount of people care about, so you can tell your joke, and you reach the maximum number of people," he explained.
Hammond said he tries to stay away from certain topics and focuses on things like politicians' golf swings instead. The best jokes don't "rise above a locker room towel snap," he said. "Everyone seems to accept that as fair." In his most recent "Saturday Night Live" sketches as Clinton, for example, he made jokes about being a ladies man and his love for the saxophone.
He said the politicians he imitates are almost always "accommodating and gracious" to him. He's spent time with Clinton, found himself in Trump's office and performed for former Vice President Dick Cheney. "I've always tried to be as respectful as I can be," Hammond said.
"My job was never to be a political commentator," he said. "Up until recently I thought I was going to retire and just be the announcer."
But with the Clintons back on the trail, a louder-than-ever Trump, and more presidential candidates than there are "SNL" cast members, we might just see more of Hammond in front of the camera again.