Tom Hanks hosted “Saturday Night Live” from his home yesterday and it was the first remote broadcast in the show’s 45-year history.
The actor, who recently recovered from the coronavirus, spoke to viewers from his kitchen and provided the opening monologue dressed in a suit. He joked that it was the first time that he had been wearing nothing but sweatpants for a month.
“Hey all cool cats and kittens,” Hanks greeted his virtual audience with a reference to “Tiger King,” the popular Netflix documentary series. “It’s good to be here, but it’s also really weird hosting here ‘Saturday Night Live” from home. “
Hanks further joked that since his coronavirus diagnosis, he was like “America’s father … Nobody wants to be with me for very long and I make people uncomfortable.”
He added that he and his wife, Rita Wilson, who also tested positive, are doing well now.
The Oscar winner first revealed his condition on March 11 when he was working on a film about Elvis Presley in Australia. The world was paying close attention when 63-year-old Hanks tweeted updates about his condition and urged people to take shelter to reduce the spread of the virus. He and Wilson returned to California in late March after two weeks in quarantine.
“This ‘Saturday Night Live’ is going to be a little different,” Hanks warned as he stood in his kitchen.
To begin with, it is entirely filmed by the cast of ‘SNL’ who are quarantined in their homes. Well, not like this“he joked, referring to his luxury digs.” There is no longer such a thing as Saturday. It’s just every day today. “
He continued, “And we’re not really live, but we’re doing everything we can to make this feel like the ‘SNL’ you know and love. I even use cue cards, you know?”
Then he presented a cue card that said, “I even use cue cards.”
The monologue also included some well-known lines.
“We have a great show for you tonight,” said Hanks. “Now, will it look a little different from what you’re used to? Yes. Will it be weird seeing sketches without big sets and costumes? Of course. Will it make you laugh? Eh. It is ‘SNL’. There will be good things, maybe one or two stinkers. You know the exercise. ‘
The first broadcast of the show since the hiatus due to the coronavirus outbreak had a distinctly homemade vibe with cast members using simple props and impromptu costumes. Kate McKinnon brought back her Ruth Bader Ginsburg impression, including RBG’s home training.
Later, McKinnon and Aidy Bryant played colleagues who couldn’t figure out how to make a Zoom video call. “We ruined the hem!” McKinnon’s character cried.
Larry David made a memorable guest appearance as Bernie Sanders, who quit the presidential race last week, and Alec Baldwin made a call-in appearance as President Trump. Chris Martin was the musical guest.
The show was also a tribute to Hal Willner, the longtime musical coordinator of the show, who died at the age of 64 last week. SNL alumni Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and others sang Lou Reed’s ‘Perfect Day’ in his honor.
One of the show’s most memorable moments came to the end of Hanks’ monologue – when he got serious and thanked the men and women who kept our country going.
“Stay safe,” he said. “We are in this for the duration and we will endure this together.