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Darrell Hammond plays Colonel Sanders in Kentucky Fried Chicken ads

By Karen Butler
Darrell Hammond plays Colonel Sanders in Kentucky Fried Chicken ads
Image of Darrell Hammond as Colonel Sanders, courtesy of Kentucky Fried Chicken

LOUISVILLE, Ky., May 20 (UPI) -- Saturday Night Live staple Darrell Hammond can now be seen playing Kentucky Fried Chicken's Colonel Sanders in commercials for the fast-food chain.

The videos show Hammond wearing a white suit and sporting the iconic character's signature snowy hair, mustache and beard.

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"Colonel Sanders is back, America! He's back to make sure his Kentucky Fried Chicken is still as delicious as it ever was. And he made this commercial about it," says a message introducing Hammond's "The State of Kentucky Fried Chicken Address" spot.

"Because, boy howdy, have things changed since the Colonel's been gone! Nowadays, you've got your self-parking electronic automobiles. Your casual Fridays. Your computer phones and invisible cosmetic braces for adults. Your yoga pants, nanny cams, books on tape, mail-order remote-control submarines, unscented roll-on antiperspirants, leather ottomans with hideaway storage, texting, foam rollers, adjustable waistbands, night-vision goggles, scratch-resistant countertops, action-packed thrillers about the deadly nature of virtual reality, travel-size toothpastes and all kinds of lumbar support. But the one thing that hasn't changed is the Colonel's Kentucky Fried Chicken. It's still finger lickin' good!"

The clip has been viewed on YouTube nearly 1.1 million times since it was released Tuesday. Hammond's commercials will start airing on television Monday.

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"In my line of work, I've been able to do impressions of a lot of interesting people. But Colonel Sanders? He was a really fascinating guy. His lifelong entrepreneurial spirit and integrity are two things that drew me to him. He never gave up. It's an honor to bring to life such an iconic figure... and it doesn't hurt that KFC is paying me in chicken -- which, at the time, sounded like a good idea because I was very hungry that day," Hammond said in a statement.

The 59-year-old comedian was an SNL cast member from 1995 to 2009, where he enjoyed fame for his spot-on Bill Clinton impression. He returned to the sketch comedy series last year to replace the show's late announcer Don Pardo, and recently revived his depiction of Clinton on-air to coincide with Bill's wife Hillary's presidential campaign.

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