Tom Hanks served as host of the first socially distanced Saturday Night Live At Home episode, with the actor delivering an opening monologue from his kitchen where he touched on his own recovery from the coronavirus and paid tribute to essential workers.
“Hey all you cool cats and kittens,” Hanks said, making the first Tiger King joke of the evening. “It’s good to be here, but it’s also very weird to be here, hosting Saturday Night Live, from home. This 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.”
As for his near-shaved head, Hanks ensured viewers that he cut off his hair for a role and it is not a COVID-19 side effect.
“But why me as host? For one, 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 any more, and I make people uncomfortable,” he said.
Hanks then touched on being diagnosed for the coronavirus while in Australia, noting that doctors there use Celsius instead of Fahrenheit when taking temperature (“Thirty-six [degrees] is fine, 38 is bad,” Hanks said, “basically it’s how Hollywood treats female actors”). Hanks added that both he and his wife Rita Wilson are now doing fine.
Hanks next broke down how the unique SNL episode would work, and even threw in a brief “question and answer monologue,” taking questions from himself in disguise.
“Also, there’s no such thing as Saturdays anymore. Just every day is ‘Today,’” the actor quipped.
Hanks closed out his kitchen monologue with some hopeful words. “Hey, stay safe, we are in this for the duration, and we will get through this together,” Hanks said. “We are going to thank our hospital workers, our First Responders and all the helpers, the supermarket stockers, the people who deliver our food, 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.”