America’s Dad, Tom Hanks, has a message for us. In the crazy, anxiety-inducing, pussy-grabbing fall that has dominated all of our conversations, he wants us to know that it’s all going to be alright. Because we’re all Hankses.
Sure, he says, on Saturday Night Live this weekend hosting for an astonishing ninth time and Lady Gaga—Lady Gaga (!!!)—as the musical guest, the country is “getting darker.” We’re more diverse than ever. “Also,” he says, “you’re a lot gayer than you used to be. That is trill. That is fleek, whatever that means.”
It’s just what we needed, our daddy Tom Hanks appearing on SNL after the final presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, reassuring us that, after a night of nasty women and bad hombres—not to mention the incendiary conversation those topics ignited—things are going to be OK.
Are we Ready For Hillary? Do we want to Make America Great Again? No. What we need—what we’ve always needed—is HANKS.
Hanks played well-reviewed Fox News debate moderator Chris Wallace in this weekend’s cold open, because if anyone from Fox News is going to get raves, it will be Best Living Actor Tom Hanks to pull off the performance of a lifetime.
“It’s going to be a lot like the third Lord of the Rings movie,” Hanks/Wallace said. “You don’t want to watch but, hey, you’ve come this far.”
We have. And our reward, as we’ve come to expect, is some razor-sharp satire of the nonsense Saturday after 11:30 pm on Saturday Night Live. Praise McKinnon, we got it.
“Tonight, I feast,” joked Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton in her opening statement opposite Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump. She licked the butcher’s knife, ostensibly making this last debate Halloween-themed.
All of the major talking points from the final presidential debate were hit. Trump’s attention-grabbing abortion position and graphic monologue about late-term termination was reduced to Baldwin’s: “THEY ARE RIPPING BABIES OUT OF VAGINAS.” His Trump then downplayed the “bad hombres” comment, reassuring that he has good relations with Mexico: “Mr. Guacamole. Excuse me… Señor Guacamole.”
Hanks had a shining moment mocking the nationwide exhaustion over Clinton’s gloating about her 30 years of policy experience, complete with McKinnon rocking a Jason Derulo-style humble brag about taking down Osama Bin Laden. Then she used the night’s buzziest moment—Trump’s crude dismissal of her as a “nasty woman”—as the perfect opportunity to capitalize on controversy for hocking #nastywomen-branded merchandise.
In their closing statements, Baldwin’s Trump claimed that he was winning “every poll taken outside of a Cracker Barrel,” which, probably. And Hillary? While some Trump supporters might be giving her an “F” in debate performance, she reassures voters that, if elected, “I promise to be a Stone Cold B.” Which, definitely.
Naturally, however, the politics didn’t end with the cold open. The popular sketch “Black Jeopardy!” followed with Hanks once again channeling America’s psyche and juxtaposition simultaneously playing Doug, a Trump supporter who is also popular among the black community.
“If I can laugh and pray in 90 minutes, that is money well spent,” Doug said, talking about Madea movies. And what can skinny do for you? “Not a damn thing!” Doug says, as Leslie Jones’s character cheers: “That is my man right there! Go Doug, go Doug, go!”
We used to think unity only happened around Clinton and her supporters. But then Madea, and Doug, set us straight.
Could Tom Hanks make us great again? It remains to be seen, but if his winning performance in Sully is any indication then I’d say we’re truly stronger together. Us, and Tom Hanks. Well…us, Tom Hanks, and Lady Gaga. Of course. A-Yo, indeed.