Tom Hanks has made his first public appearance since his coronavirus diagnosis, hosting Saturday Night Live‘s new special.
Last night’s (April 11) episode, called At Home, was the show’s first since March 7, when production was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Beginning his monologue at the start of the show, Hanks said it was “a strange time to try and be funny, but trying to be funny is SNL’s whole thing, so we thought, ‘What the heck?'”
Hanks went on to discuss his own battle with the virus, saying: “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. No one wants to be around me very long and I make people uncomfortable.”
Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson recently shared an update on their progress in recovering from coronavirus, saying they are “feeling better every day”.
Talking about the episode that followed, Hanks added: “Will it be weird to see sketches without big sets and costumes? Sure. But will it make you laugh? Eh, it’s SNL, there will be some good stuff, maybe one or two stinkers, you know the drill.”
Ending his monologue, Hanks spoke to the public and urged them to follow protocol and praised key workers. “Stay safe. We are in this for the duration, and we are going to get through this together. We are going to thank our hospital workers, our first responders, and all of our helpers… the men and women who are keeping this country going when we need them more than ever. We’re going to take care of them, and we’re going to take care of each other.”
The new episode also saw Coldplay frontman Chris Martin share a solo cover of Bob Dylan’s 1974 track ‘Shelter From The Storm’.