The Oscar winner, 63, performed the opening monologue for the remote show from his kitchen, where he made reference to his diagnosis and the hit Netflix documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.
“Hey all you cool cats and kittens,” he began. “It’s me, your old pal. Don’t be afraid, this shaved head was just for a movie. My hair is growing back very slowly. … It is a strange time to try and be funny, but trying to be funny is SNL‘s whole thing. So we thought, what the heck? Let’s give it a shot.”
He added, “But why me as host? Well, for one, I have been the celebrity canary of the coal mine for the coronavirus, and ever since being diagnosed, I have been more like America’s dad than ever before since no one wants to be around me very long and I make people uncomfortable.”
The Philadelphia actor and wife Rita Wilson were hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19 in early March while filming the upcoming Elvis Presley biopic in Australia. The couple, who married in 1988, made a full recovery, returning to Los Angeles on March 27.
“Now the folks in Australia are fantastic in every way but they use Celsius instead of Fahrenheit when they take your temperature,” he continued. “So, when they come in and they say, ‘You’re 36,’ which seemed very bad to me. But turns out 36 is fine, turns out 38 is bad. So basically it’s how Hollywood treats female actors.”
Hanks also referenced his quarantine attire, noting that he hasn’t worn anything but loungewear since returning home.
“But now my wife and I are doing fine, doing great. We’re hunkered down, like all of us should be. In fact, this suit, this is the first time I’ve worn anything other than sweatpants since March 11,” he joked. “My wife had to help me put it on.”
Stars took to social media to gush about the Forrest Gump actor’s return to Hollywood, referring to the SNL episode as “perfect.”
“Well #SNL that was perfect – thank u,” Rosie O’Donnell wrote on Twitter.
“I’ve often done SNL sketches at home too. :(” Billy Eichner jokingly tweeted.
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