Paul Drinkwater/NBC(NEW YORK) — Despite losing the live audience, the ability to film live and the convenience of doing bits while standing next to another person due to social distancing, Saturday Night Live made its grand return over the weekend and tapped Tom Hanks as its host.
Using well-placed sound effects, like clapping and cheering, Hanks kicked off the SNL revival by cracking jokes at his expense, such as revealing that the suit he dressed himself up in is the first wardrobe change he’s had since March 11, revealing he’s only worn sweatpants since going into quarantine.
The actor was among the first celebrities to contract COVID-19 and was forced to quarantine in Australia for two weeks alongside his wife Rita Wilson.
Now fully recovered, Hanks admitted it was weird to host the esteemed comedy show in the comfort of his own kitchen. “It is a strange time to try and be funny,” Hanks reflected. “But trying to be funny is SNL‘s whole thing!”
He went on to explain that the reason he was asked to host was because he was the “celebrity canary in the coal mine for the coronavirus” and that, since being diagnosed, he adopted the guise as “America’s dad.”
Meaning, “No one wants to be around me very long and I make people uncomfortable.”
The 63-year-old went on to detail how SNL will operate during the pandemic, revealing that the cast will shoot everything in the comfort of their homes, rely on cue cards and, overall, try to maintain business as usual.
Hanks even took questions from the audience, which consisted of him receiving softball questions from two separate versions of himself.
“Stay safe,” concluded the Toy Story 4 star while shouting out medical staff and other essential workers, “We will get through this together.”
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