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“It is a strange time to try to be funny, but trying to be funny is ‘SNL’’s whole thing, so we thought ‘What the heck!’” Hanks quipped next to his refrigerator.
“Why me as host?” Hanks asked. “Well, for one, 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,” because, he joked, no one wants to be around him very much and he makes people uncomfortable.
Hanks said he and his wife Rita Wilson, who was also diagnosed last month with the virus, are both doing well and “hunkering down” in their home along with the rest of the country.
“In fact, this suit, this is the first time I’ve worn anything other than sweatpants since March 11,” he revealed. “My wife had to help me put it on cause I forgot how buttons work.”
“We have a great show for you tonight,” he added at the end of his monologue. “Now is it going to look a little different than what you’re used to? Yes. Will it be weird to see sketches without big sets and costumes? Sure. But, will it make you laugh? Eh. It’s ‘SNL.’ There’ll be some good stuff, maybe one or two stinkers, you know the drill.”
At the top of the show, the cast all appeared together from their homes via Zoom before launching into their own homemade video sketches perfect for YouTube.
The musical guest was Chris Martin and special appearances included Larry David, Alec Baldwin, Adam Sandler and Tina Fey.
“SNL” is following other shows like “The Tonight Show,” “The Daily ‘Social Distancing’ Show” and even the Academy of Country Music’s show “Our Country,” whose hosts have started producing content from home.
The pre-recorded episode was the first in “SNL”‘s 45-year history.
Hanks and Wilson were both diagnosed with the virus while he was on location for a film in Australia. They were hospitalized and quarantined in the country for two weeks before they were allowed to fly back to the U.S.