Executive Producer Stephen Harris tells us why MC Hammer only gets better with age.
It is no exaggeration to say that Hammer is an American icon. What sort of reactions did Hammer get from fans when you were out and about during filming?
Stephen Harris, Executive Producer, Hammertime: Almost 20 years since he first hit the scene, Hammer still draws a crowd of fans and admirers. I think the most astonishing thing is the wide range of ages that his fan base spans, from 20-60 years old. Regardless of the cameras being present, people still recognize him and he's always pleasant and welcoming. The responses also vary from comments about how much they loved his music, to his presence on Twitter and how his unique baggy pants from back in day are making a comeback.
Sammy, the youngest Burrell, often steals the show with his adorable antics. What's your favorite Sammy moment from the series?
SH: This is a trick question because every episode has a Sammy moment, it's almost impossible to just pick one. He's a true scene stealer. I say this in the most complimentary way, because he's an adorable child with a heart of gold. A little known fact is that Sammy was less than 2 pounds at birth, his spunk and energy of a survivor translates on screen and inspires warm feelings whenever he enters a room.
One of my favorite Sammy moments from the series is when he's wearing the gold Hammer pants after his cousin Jamaris asks to borrow the famous Hammer suit for his prom.
What were some of the challenges the production team faced running their day-to-day operations out of Hammer's garage?
SH: The production literally took over the garage and transformed the place into a full blown office. The biggest challenge was keeping the production running smoothly while co-habitating between the storage freezer and kid's bicycles. When we did the pilot, the crew only occupied about a third of the space, but for the actual series we had to clear out the storage boxes and set up tables. This served as the multi-purpose station for the entire crew. It was everything from their camera department to their production office and craft service headquarters. To supplement the garage space the crew also worked out of their vans.
Hammer is a technology buff and is frequently seen video blogging or texting throughout the show. How else does technology play a role in the series?
SH: This is the first series to actually use Twitter as part of the show. We use it as location setups and scene transitions. This was a very natural choice because Hammer already uses social media regularly to stay connected with his fans. I think the other way that technology is used is with Hammer's video blogging. The goal was to maintain authenticity. Technology is always present in Hammer's life, even on subtle levels. You'll notice his house is wired with special touchscreen monitors and the family is frequently seen using their laptops.
How do you feel MC Hammer the rapper differs from Stanley Burrell the husband and father?
SH: It's ironic because while they are two completely different individuals they are still very much one in the same. Hammer's values, his faith and family have always been part of his life and music. He has a hard work ethic and has instilled that in all of his children along with the thirst to dream big. He's self confident because he has achieved so much in his lifetime and has been famous since he was 9 years old while working for the Oakland A's. I had the unique experience of attending his concert in Vegas on June 20th and that self confidence is translated in both his lyrics and stage performance as well as with his parenting and influence on his children. Both his daughters and 10 year-old Jeremiah sing the hooks on some of his tracks. Booby is one of his dancers and little Sammy came out and waved to the crowd in between sets.