#SNLAtHome Trends as Show Returns With First Ever Pre-Recorded Episode With Tom Hanks Hosting

Fans were delighted after Saturday Night Live returned with an original episode hosted by Tom Hanks—with every sketch produced remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The first ever pre-recorded episode of the NBC show, dubbed "SNL At Home," opened with Hanks in his own home, joking that he felt more like America's Dad than ever before after catching coronavirus.

"Why me as host?" Hanks said. "Well, for one, 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... since no one wants to be around me very long and I make people uncomfortable."

Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson were both diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, while in Australia last month.

Viewers were also amused after Hanks referenced the wildly popular Tiger King docuseries on Netflix, using Carole Baskin's catchphrase to begin his monologue. "Tom Hanks saying "all you cool cats and kittens" was all I needed from this show thank you #SNLAtHome," Rachel Witkin noted.

Hanks also joked that "there was no such thing as Saturdays anymore" and "we're not really live," but added that he and the cast were doing their best to make the show feel like the one viewers expect.

"Will it be weird to see sketches without big sets and costumes? Sure," he said. "But will it make you laugh? Eh, you know, it's SNL. There'll be some good stuff, maybe one or two stinkers, you know the drill."

He ended with a somber note, however, telling viewers: "Stay safe. We are in this for the duration and we will get through this together."

He added: "We are going to thank our hospital workers, our first responders and all the helpers, the supermarket stockers, the people who deliver our food, the people who are making takeout for us, the men and women who are keeping this country going at the time when we need them more than ever before. We're going to take care of them and we're going to take care of each other."

Tom Hanks saying “all you cool cats and kittens” was all I needed from this show thank you #SNLAtHome

— Rachel Witkin (@rachel_witkin) April 12, 2020

#SNLAtHome is having some really funny moments, which is amazing considering the way they had to do all this.

— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) April 12, 2020

I am 56 years old and I’ve been watching SNL my entire life. Episodes like tonight’s, especially the Hal Willner tribute, are reminders of the purpose my lifelong loyalty. #SNLAtHome ❤️

— Ed Glavin (@EdGlavin) April 12, 2020

The episode, the first to air since production shut down a month ago, led to #SNLAtHome becoming the top trending topic on Twitter, with many viewers complimenting the cast on their efforts.

"You have to hand it to @nbcsnl. They've been a constant comfort during every American crisis since 1975. #SNLAtHome is no different," one Twitter user said. "Kudos to them for trying something new and helping Saturday night feel somewhat normal again."

Tom Nichols added: "#SNLAtHome is having some really funny moments, which is amazing considering the way they had to do all this."

Ed Glavin added: "I am 56 years old and I've been watching SNL my entire life. Episodes like tonight's, especially the Hal Willner tribute, are reminders of the purpose my lifelong loyalty."

The episode, which featured Chris Martin of Coldplay as the musical guest, also included a new opening credits sequence featuring cast members entertaining themselves at home.

Larry David reprised his role as Senator Bernie Sanders and Alec Baldwin called in as President Donald Trump during the Weekend Update segment, hosted by Colin Jost and Michael Che with friends watching on Zoom. Twitter users praised Che after he paid tribute to his grandmother, who died of coronavirus this week.

The show ended with a tribute to Hal Willner, the show's long-time music producer, who also died this week after contracting coronavirus.

Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks walks onstage during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020. Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images