Even though Saturday Night Live is officially still on hiatus, the team debuted a remotely produced April 11 episode that featured all the cast mates sheltering at home. The show opened with a delightful surprise: Tom Hanks was the SNL At Home host, presenting from his own kitchen and looking lively after recovering from COVID-19. Hanks' 'SNL' monologue included jokes about his recovery and sheltering at home, and ultimately ended on a hopeful note about the future.
On March 11, Hanks announced that he and wife Rita Wilson had contracted COVID-19 while in Australia. The couple were released from a Queensland hospital on March 16, and per Hanks' Saturday Night Live monologue, they continue to quarantine at home and obey social distancing rules.
"It's very weird to be here hosting SNL from home," Hanks said in the opener, wearing a suit while presenting from his own kitchen. He joked that though "it's a strange time to try and be funny, trying to be funny is SNL's whole thing," so why not?
Hanks acknowledged that he's been like the "celebrity canary in the cold mine," as he was the first high profile case to hit the media, and his early diagnosis drove home for many how serious this pandemic was shaping up to be. Since being diagnosed, Hanks joked that "I've been America's dad more than ever before because no one wants to be around me very long, and I make everyone uncomfortable."
Hanks also proved he was in good spirits by taking an amusing shot at Hollywood ageism and sexism. He explained that because the metric system was different in Australia, he learned the difference between Fahrenheit and Celsius from the nurses. He said that 36 degrees is good but 38 is bad, "which is like how Hollywood treats female actors."
Hanks also joked about not remembering how to wear suits anymore, and even took questions from the audience by dressing as different characters. He even threw in a Tiger King joke at the top of the monologue by greeting everyone with, "Hey all you cool cats and kittens."
Just as expected from Hanks, he ended the opener on a much-needed positive note. "Stay safe. We are in this for the duration, and we will get through this together." He reminded us to thank all our healthcare workers, grocery store workers, and "the men and women keeping this country going at the time when we need them more than ever before."
"We will take care of them and we will take care of each other," Hanks said.
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