Live via Zoom, it was Saturday Night Live at home.
The NBC sketch comedy series returned with a special remote episode tonight featuring the cast practicing social distancing, and a surprise guest spot by Tom Hanks.
In his first TV appearance since being diagnosed with coronavirus, Hanks hosted the show and said it was good to be back on SNL, although he admitted the set-up was a bit weird.
After pondering about why he was chosen to host the unusual episode, Hanks admitted he had coronavirus to thank.
“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,” he explained, adding: “No one wants to be around me very long and I make people uncomfortable.”
Hanks and wife Rita Wilson announced on March 11 that they had tested positive for the virus. The two were in Australia for pre-production on Baz Luhrmann’s untitled Elvis Presley film from Warner Bros.
In his SNL remarks, Hanks joked about the different approaches to medicine Down Under and here in the U.S. He took a jab at Hollywood in the process.
“The folks in Australia are fantastic in every way, but they use Celsius instead of Fahrenheit when they take your temperature,” the two-time Oscar winner explained. “So, they come in and they say ‘you’re 36,’ which seemed very bad to me, but it turns out 36 is fine. Thirty eight is bad, so basically it’s how Hollywood treats female actors.”
Hanks said he and Wilson are now doing fine. Standing in his kitchen and wearing a suit, he lamented about having to dress up for the at home SNL gig.
“This suit, this is the first time I’ve worn anything other than sweatpants since March 11,” he said sarcastically.
As he closed, Hanks thanked health care workers, delivery drivers, grocery workers and the people who have been on the frontlines during the COVID-19 crisis.
[You can watch the video above]
This is SNL’s first new episode since the series suspended production last month amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The show was supposed to return from hiatus on March 28 with an original episode hosted by John Krasinski and featuring musical guest Dua Lipa. But that was scrapped due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
It’s unclear when the series will resume a weekly schedule. The long-running weekend staple is created and executive produced by Lorne Michaels.
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