Due to the coronavirus pandemic, numerous beloved television programs have had to adjust their schedules and production habits in order to meet the new stay at home orders. NBC’s late-night sketch comedy series, Saturday Night Live, was among these programs that had to adapt to these changing times. After postponing its production for a few weeks, the sketch show announced that it will return with a remote original mini-episode on Thursday before unveiling the plans for a full-length episode on Saturday afternoon. To many viewers’ surprise, the remote episode opened without a cold open, but with a gallery view of its cast and a smiling Tom Hanks.
Aptly entitled Saturday Night Live At Home, the episode brought a domestic look to its intro and a monologue from Academy Award-winning actor, Tom Hanks, according to The Washington Post. Hanks’ appearance on this legendary sketch show marks his first “public” appearance on national television since his coronavirus diagnosis. The actor, known for countless roles such as Big, Philadelphia, and Cast Away, was one of the first celebrities to be diagnosed with COVID-19 and has seen a full recovery from the virus. Check out the show’s intro and ensuing monologue here:
The rest of Saturday Night Live At Home featured sketches with individual cast members appearing on the screen. Weekend Update aired in a similar fashion with the two hosts, Colin Jost and Michael Che conducting a back and off over the past week’s top news stories.
In addition to Hanks, the remote version of Saturday Night Live also featured Larry David (Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Bernie Sanders, Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems), Tina Fey (30 Rock), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), Maya Rudolph (The Way Way Back), Fred Armisen (Portlandia), and a performance by Coldplay’s Chris Martin of “Shelter from the Storm” by Bob Dylan. The show also held a tribute for Hal Willner, a long-time music producer for the show who had recently passed at age 64 from complications of COVID-19.
Currently, NBC and Saturday Night Live have not announced whether this will be a weekly occurrence for the variety show in its 45th season.