Not quite live and likely from Los Angeles versus New York, an on-the-mend Tom Hanks was revealed as host of the the first at-home edition of Saturday Night Live.
After a brief introduction by the entire cast — “Live from Zoom, it’s sometime between March and August,” Kate McKinnon declared — Hanks appeared from his kitchen and launched into a monologue that reflected on being diagnosed with coronavirus back in March.
“Hey, all you cool cats and kittens, it’s your old pal,” he began, with of course a Tiger King reference. “It’s good to be here, though it’s also very weird to be here hosting Saturday Night Live from home. It is a strange time to try and be funny, but trying to be funny is SNL‘s whole thing, so we thought, ‘What the heck? Let’s give it a shot!’
“I have been the ‘celebrity canary in the coal mine’ for the coronavirus, and ever since being diagnosed, I have been more like ‘America’s Dad’ than ever before — since no one wants to be around me very long, and I make people uncomfortable,” he continued. “I was first diagnosed down in Australia. Now, the folks in Australia are fantastic in every way, but they use Celsius instead of Fahrenheit when they take your temperature, so when they come in and say, ‘You’re 36,’ which seemed very bad to me, it turns out 36 is fine; 38 is bad. So basically, it’s how Hollywood treats female actors. But now my wife [Rita Wilson] and I are doing fine, doing great, hunkered down like all of us should be. In fact, this suit? This is the first time I’ve worn anything other than sweat pants since March 11.”
Hanks then revealed that this episode would be unlike any other, with all sketches pre-taped ahead of Saturday’s broadcast. He then offered a message of hope.
“Stay safe,” he said. “We are in this for the duration, and we will get through this together. We are going to thank our hospital workers, the first responders and all the helpers. The supermarket stockers, the people who are making takeout for us, the men and women who are keeping this country going at a time when we need them more than ever before. We are going to take care of them, and take care of each other. So now let’s try to enjoy the show.”
What followed was a Pete Davidson music video (directed by Davidson’s mom), followed by Kate McKinnon in character as Ruth Bader Ginsburg leading a home workout tutorial for the tuchus and such.
In addition to Hanks, the quarantine-themed opening title sequence revealed a surprise musical guest: Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.
This weekend’s SNL marks the first new episode since March 8, when Daniel Craig (of the since-delayed James Bond film No Time to Die) hosted and The Weeknd served as musical guest. The late-night series was 15 episodes into its 21-episode 45th season when the decision was made to halt production indefinitely. As a result, a March 28 installment with first-time host John Krasinski (and musical guest Dua Lipa) was scrapped.
Were you happy to see Hanks revealed as this weekend’s host?