Tom Hanks hosted “Saturday Night Live” from his kitchen this weekend, telling an audience of zero that “this is the first time I’ve worn anything other than sweatpants since March 11″ — when the actor and his wife contracted COVID-19.
In a rag-tag show, with cast members all offering sketches from their homes and the famed SNL band each piping in from their living rooms, Hanks mocked SNL for often not being funny.
“It is a strange time to try to be funny, but trying to be funny is ‘SNL’’s whole thing, so we thought ‘What the heck!’” Hanks said to his refrigerator.
“We have a great show for you tonight,” Hanks said. “Now is it going to look a little different than what you’re used to? Yes. Will it be weird to see sketches without big sets and costumes? Sure. But, will it make you laugh? Eh. It’s ‘SNL.’ There’ll be some good stuff, maybe one or two stinkers, you know the drill.”
Hanks, sporting a nearly shaved head, has hosted the late-night comedy show 10 times before last night.
“Why me as host?” Hanks asked. “Well, 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 very long and I make people uncomfortable.”
Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson were diagnosed with the virus and hospitalized last month while Hanks was filming a movie in Australia. Both are now “doing great,” Hanks said, and they are now “hunkered down — like all of us should be.”
“In fact, this suit, this is the first time I’ve worn anything other than sweatpants since March 11,” Hanks said. “My wife had to help me put it on cause I forgot how buttons work.”
But Hanks, whose popularity crosses all ideological lines, offered some optimism: “Stay safe. We are in this for the duration, and we will get through this together.”
The show, as Hanks predicted, was uneven — but funnier than most recent shows. At the opening of the show, all of the cast members appeared together from their homes via Zoom. Comedian Larry David appeared as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), saying he’s got plenty of toilet paper. Cast member Kate McKinnon did a mock exercise show as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, at one point using some AA batteries as workout weights. Pete Davidson was seen singing in his mom’s basement, making up a song that sounds like every song hiphop artist Drake has ever done.
There was a pretty funny sketch of workers holding a Zoom conference call. And there was even a “Weekend Update: Home Edition.” During that segment, Alec Baldwin called in as President Trump.
“My approval rating is up, my TV ratings are through the roof and every night at 7 p.m. all of New York claps and cheers for the great job I’m doing,” Baldwin said over the phone.
Chris Martin of Coldplay was the musical guest, playing an acoustic version of Bob Dylan’s “Shelter From The Storm.”