May 25, 2020
Tom Hanks hosts Saturday Night Live At Home, filmed in actors' homes

Tom Hanks hosts Saturday Night Live At Home, filmed in actors’ homes


For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

You can’t keep Saturday Night Live down for long. Despite the coronavirus outbreak keeping the actors confined to their individual homes, the NBC sketch comedy show aired a new episode Saturday night, with sketches that had been previously recorded in the various cast members’ apartments and host Tom Hanks appearing from home as well. 

“Live from Zoom, it’s sometime between March and August,” joked cast member Kate McKinnon in the show’s opening.

“It is a strange time to try to be funny, but trying to be funny is SNL’s whole thing,” Hanks said in the introductory monologue.

Since Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, have both recovered from the coronavirus, he joked that he was a natural host for the at-home show.

“Ever since being diagnosed I have been more like America’s dad than ever before,” Hanks said. “No one wants to be around me very long, and I make people uncomfortable.”

He also joked about having his temperature taken in Celsius while recovering in Australia, and being confused by the numbers being so much lower than Fahrenheit.

“Thirty-six is fine, 38 is bad,” he said. “So basically, it’s how Hollywood treats female actors.”

The backgrounds and the audio of the sketches varied, depending on each actor’s home setup. Hanks stood in front of shiny appliances and wood floors and cupboards in his kitchen, while Michael Che shot his scenes from what looked like a rec room with framed sports jerseys on the walls. 

Chris Martin of Coldplay appeared as the episode’s musical guest, singing and playing Bob Dylan’s 1975 song Shelter From The Storm.

An animated short featured one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles as a Middle-Age Mutant Ninja Turtle, dealing with divorce and medical problems.

Actor Larry David returned, once again, playing former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Speaking about health care professionals lacking personal protective equipment, David cracked, “Their gloves have little holes in the fingers, like Oliver Twist, and I should know. I went to high school with Oliver Twist.”

In another sketch, frequent guest Alec Baldwin called in to the Weekend Update news show as President Donald Trump. 

Update anchor Colin Jost asked the president to confirm that he was no longer calling coronavirus the “Chinese virus.”

“That’s right, Colin, I had to tone down the ethnic slurs after I discovered that everything we need to survive the virus is made in China,” Trump said. He listed some of the other names for the virus that he considered, including Hong Kong Fluey, Crouching Tiger Hiding Symptoms and Wang Chung Lung.

The coronavirus played into a number of sketches, including one of a company attempting its first Zoom group video chat, and one where Alex Moffat plays a British sports announcer reduced to giving play-by-play for the popping of popcorn and the ripening of two bananas in a bowl.

The Netflix streaming hit Tiger King: Murder, Madness and Mayhem, also came in for numerous jabs. In one skit, a fake commercial for online education program MasterClass advertised a biking class from Joe Exotic’s nemesis, Carole Baskin, who is frequently seen riding her bike on the Netflix show.

And on Weekend Update, Colin Jost joked about Exotic saying he wanted Brad Pitt to play him in a movie based on his life. “Which is sort of like if The Colin Jost Story starred Denzel Washington,” he said.



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