SNL Alum Darrell Hammond Plays Colonel Sanders in New KFC Ads (PHOTOS)

05/19/2015 at 09:05 AM ET

Colonel Sanders
Courtesy KFC

From Bill Clinton to Donald Trump to Sean Connery, former SNL cast member Darrell Hammond is known for his masterful impressions, and now he is taking on another famous figure: Colonel Sanders.

In a series of KFC ads debuting on May 25, Hammond will “become” the beloved Kentucky Fried Chicken founder — who appeared in ads for the fried chicken company in the ’60s and ’70s — taking on his likeness right down to his signature white hair and black bow tie (as seen in these exclusive photos).

Colonel Sanders
Courtesy KFC

“Because [Col. Sanders] is no longer with us, we needed to find the greatest impersonator of our generation,” Kevin Hochman, CMO of KFC, tells PEOPLE. “Darrell has mastered the cadence, tone and mannerisms of other celebrated figures … so, who better to play one of America’s dearest icons than [him].”

The fast food chain even offered Hammond the role in a comedic spirit. “KFC asked Darrell to consider the role by sending him a fake letter from the Colonel’s fake attorney which stated that the Colonel had asked that Darrell play him if the time ever arose that the brand wanted to bring the Colonel back,” says Hochman.

Colonel Sanders
Courtesy KFC

So, what does the actor think of his new gig? “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,” he joked.

—Michelle Ward Trainor

FILED UNDER: Chicken , Food News , Restaurants

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Showing 23 comments

Fred on

His moustach looks way too long and where is his black hankie ? There is another impersonator by the name of Johnny miller on face book that looks like a dead ringer, without having to wear that makeup !

Anonymous on

Worst choice ever…just another chance to bash Bush.

Anonymous on

Bash Bush? Uh, right…

Harvey on

Terrible choice – I immediately knew it was Darell Hammond under that terrible makeup job! Awful

Jim8 on

Clearly NOT a great idea. Obviously done by someone who has no respect for the real guy.

Bridget on

I find the entire campaign offensive as an African American. I think all that’s missing is a confederate flag in the background

Wayne on

It’s creepy! Terrible impersonation. He has done much better. Please stop airing them. I change the channel every time it comes on.

sharon on

Wow he could pass for the Real Col Sanders.

Carrie Adkins on

First of all WTH……. Offensive to you Because you you are African American… what does that have to do with KFC commercials? Are you for real?

Bridget says:

JUNE 22, 2015 AT 7:52 PM

I find the entire campaign offensive as an African American. I think all that’s missing is a confederate flag in the background

what does the Confederate flag have to do with this this????
I think the ads are in bad taste! 1. They never say who he really is, seeings how the real Colonel Sanders has been dead for more than 30 years! 2. This actor introduced himself as Colonel Sanders, which is a lie! 3. It is disgraceful , disrespectful, and is without dignity of any kind. How about once you die I clam to be you and make money off your name while those who don’t know better believe I am you….. it’s like you all are spitting on Colonel Sanders grave!!!! Shame on all of you.

Deb on

Boy am I confused……how can these silly commercials be offensive to African Americans? Get over yourself. Some people are always looking for attention. Offensive? Get a life !!

Sue on

This man is horrible His imitation of Col Sanders is ridiculous and a disgrace to Col Sanders memory Makes me sick everytime he comes on and i turn the channel Have no doubt they could have much better

Paul on

This is the absolute worst choice for the Colonel. He is not believable. He can’t sing. He just sounds like a creepy old guy. He doesn’t even carry himself like the original. He is ridiculous.

At least get someone who is an original southerner. Someone that doesn’t need to try to act original.

Mike on

Really really bad for business. He should be replaced ASAP

Larry A. on

Darrell Hammond is the greatest!!!
To Bridget: Get over it and find another soapbox to get on… I’m an American – American and I’m sick and tired of people like you and all the rhetoric.

Kimeron on

Awful choice. His southern accent sounds fake plus he is nothing like the real Sanders.

Stephen Hensley on

Darrell Hammond is the ideal person to impersonate Colonel Sanders bar none ! He is the best person alive today for impersonations of anybody and is superb at impersonating Colonel Sanders . I remember the KFC ads from the sixties & Darrell has nailed it wiith his impersonation of Colonel Sanders from the look to the voice to the movements ! Way to go Darrell , congratulations & may you have a long prosperous run as THE COLONEL ! ! !

S Wood on

The people who make these ads have to be seriously high on bad drugs to think these commercials are good. Why would they want this iconic man portrayed as a creepy old pedophile is beyond me.. Nauseating..

Frank Chimento on

Congrats on turning the Colonel into a mysoginistic, old redneck pedophile. Your commercials are just creepy and the humor didn’t work. Agency heads should roll for being ass-clowns.

Dale on

so pleased to see creepy fellow off your commercials! Enuff already of bein offended by stuff. African American? Sure…………………….lol, doubt you’ve ever been to Africa

a non famous on

He was like a creepy dirty old man/pedophile! Love norm as Sanders,he’s fun and funny like real thing!!

Roger Ramjet on

I thought t was Norm MacDonald first. Anywa,y it’s just a bunch
of whoey.

Dale Bullock on

you got rid of the guy who acted like some kind of creepy child molester, finally got a good impersonator, now you have another creepy guy! What the hell are you thinking!! This new guy makes me want to go take a shower, to wash off good, after watching your commercials. Holy crap, is this the best you can find? It would be better to just forget about trying to find someone represent Col. Sanders. You are doing a very bad job. This new guy’s voice is even creepy!

Cornelius Vanoflen on

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