In what sounds like the sort of magnificent combo that TV dreams are made of, Variety is reporting that Tom Hanks is to host Saturday Night Live, with Lady Gaga as the musical guest. Like, yes ― sign me up for watching that slice of wonderful right away, please. The episode in question (which I'm sure you'll want to be marking down in your calendar to ensure you tune in) will be airing on Oct. 22, and I have a pretty great feeling that it's going to be a good one. As well as the fact that we'll get to see Gaga performing a track from her new album Joanne (which is released the day before, on Oct. 21), the episode will also mark Hank's ninth hosting appearance on SNL (his very first appearance was in 1985) which seems to only confirm to me that he's officially one of the OG's of SNL presenters.
And that's hardly surprising, really, when you consider just how fun, hilarious, and personable Hanks is, not just as a performer, but as a celebrity. His everyday, down-to-earth exploits (such as just casually gatecrashing someone's wedding) are the stuff of social media legend. But looking back on some of his former hosting gigs for SNL, and it's also easy to see this part of his personality shine. This man was made for SNL, not just as a presenter but just in general, and here's the proof as to why:
1. Because He Already Has The SNL Five-Timer Membership Card
Which speaks for itself, really. But as and when he reaches his 10th time of hosting the show, does he get an extra slick of gold on that card? A trophy perhaps? Another exquisitely sophisticated hangout with Steve Martin? I hope so.
2. His Laid Back, Everyman Charms Means That He Absolutely Nails Sketches
Hanks is so earnest and jovial that he manages to bat punchlines straight through "chuckle" territory and into "full on cackle" zone. And the comedians of SNL vibe off him so well for that reason.
3. His Impressions Are Pretty Flawless
I still believe there hasn't been a Jerry Seinfeld impression anywhere near as great or as funny as Hanks SNL take on the stand-up comedian. He pushes the performance just far enough into over-exaggeration that it's ludicrously funny. But also, doesn't Hanks version of Seinfeld sound so much like a prototype Chandler Bing? Because I definitely think so.
4. He Delivers The Absolute Best, Most Natural Monologues
Probably because he belongs there, but also because no crowd hollers for another SNL host quite as loudly or excitably as they do for Hanks. But also, he's so damn sweet with his delivery and so affably familiar, that watching him on the SNL stage feels like catching up with an old friend.
5. He Isn't Afraid To Poke A Little Bit Of Fun At Himself
As demonstrated by his appearance on SNL's Celebrity Jeopardy, in which he plays a devastatingly dim-witted version of himself (to hilarious effect).
6. He Has A Vast Career Of Iconic Movies With Which To Reference
Seriously, pick just about any one of Hanks past movies to do a sketch about and you're already onto a winner in my eyes. Those "outtakes" from Big? So good.
7. It's Great To See Him Play Against His Usual Type Of Character
Watching Hanks play an absolute moron of a sleazeball, hollering at women from a street corner is comedy gold. And why? Because he usually always plays a pretty stand-up, respectable guy and America is just totally in love with and respects him. So, it just works to see him go against all of that and play someone utterly heinous.
Oct. 21 cannot come fast enough, my friends. As if Gaga's appearance on the show isn't enough of a reason to tune in, I absolutely can't wait to see what funnies Hanks will bring when he hosts SNL for the first time in the past decade. Bring it on, Hanksy.