Well, it kinda worked out okay. Saturday night, SNL premiered its remote “At Home” episode – featuring many of the regular cast members as well as surprise host Tom Hanks, from his kitchen and musical guest Chris Martin. The episode was a ratings winner for NBC as 6.7 million viewers tuned in, making it the second-highest rated episode in season 45. The largest still belongs to the return of alum Eddie Murphy and musical guest Lizzo.
Sketches included work video calls via Zoom, “Tiger King” nemesis Carole Baskin (played by Chloe Fineman) giving slow-biking lessons and Kate McKinnon’s latest take on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and how she’s staying fit while working from home. Colin Jost and Michael Che also tag-teamed their usual “Weekend Update,” though social distancing from their respective homes.
The Zoom sketch especially seemed to hit home for the Reel 360 team and others. In one tweet, a user said, “The bit about co-workers using #Zoom for the first time was so on point! (Not naming names, but I’ve had at least one meeting where a person had their camera pointed at their feet during half the meeting.”
But the best part of Saturday Night, for some fans, may have been seeing host Hanks kick off the show from his kitchen.
“I have been the celebrity canary in the coal mine for the coronavirus,” said Hanks, 63, during his opening monologue. The A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” star and his wife, Rita Wilson, were among the many celebrities who spent time in isolation after contracting COVID-19.
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During the show, Coldplay frontman Martin also offered an acoustic cover of Bob Dylan’s 1975 song Shelter From the Storm — a fitting number as Ssaturday Night Live viewers tuned in to seek shelter from the COVID-19 storm.
Here are some highlights and pics from the episode:
The episode closed with a teary-eyed remote salute to longtime Saturday Night Live music producer Hal Willner, who died last week at 64 after suffering symptoms of the coronavirus. The segment featured McKinnon, who kicked off the tribute, as well as many former cast members, including Adam Sandler, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer and more. The group then sang Lou Reed’s Perfect Day in tribute.
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The Geek is a working screenwriter, director and screenwriting instructor.