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America's Dad Tom Hanks Returns To SNL, Promptly Makes America Great Again

Hanks hosts 'SNL' for the first time in a decade and doesn't miss a step

Tom Hanks is one of the greatest hosts in the history of Saturday Night Live. Since his hosting debut over 30 years ago in late 1985, Hanks has hosted SNL nine times, enough for fifth-most behind Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, John Goodman, and Buck Henry. Hanks is frequently cited by former cast members as one of the best possible hosts to work with, known to "roll up his sleeves" and stay up late with the writing staff to perfect sketches.

However, the last time Hanks hosted Saturday Night Live was all the way back in 2006, which means it's been a full decade since his last visit to Studio 8H. So, it's a joy to have Hanks in his element, even now that he's 60 and has been crowned America's Dad.

With that, here are some of the best sketches of the night:

  • Tom Hanks Plays A Trump Supporter On "Black Jeopardy," And It Goes Much Differently Than You'd Expect

    Let's just be clear: I was already a sucker for "Black Jeopardy," which features Kenan Thompson at his sharpest and suffers from none of the pacing issues of "Celebrity Family Feud." And this sketch begins with a recipe for disaster; an older white man with a Make America Great Again hat has no business on Black Jeopardy, does he? Turns out Hanks's Trump supporter has more in common with black America than any of us thought.

  • SNL Gives Hillary A Taste Of Her Own Medicine In The Third Presidential Debate

    Of course, this episode had to begin with a parody of the third and final presidential debate. This time, Hillary Clinton gets hit hardest, with SNL skewering Clinton on her pivots away from her email scandal, her gleeful recitation of her accomplishments over thirty years in public service, and her campaign's quick reclamation of Trump's "nasty woman" insult. That said, the audience reaction to Baldwin's Trump continues to feel cathartic, with the audience exploding every time he delivers a new, revolting punchline, such as Trump's support from "the best Baldwin brother," Stephen Baldwin.

  • Meet David S. Pumpkins, The Inspiration For Your New Halloween Costume

    This sketch, which features a couple in a "haunted elevator" for Halloween that stops at different floors for different scares, is classic Saturday Night Live. Hanks plays the inexplicable David S. Pumpkins, a somewhat Halloween-themed character with an odd accent flanked by two dancing "b-boy" skeletons (that are "part of it"). Similarities to Larry David's legendary performance as Kevin Roberts aside, Hanks goes all in on this hilariously strange character sketch. If there's any justice in this world, this year's Halloween will have more David Pumpkins than Leto Jokers.

  • In An Attempt To Win Emmys, CBS Debuts A Prestige Transparent-Style Half-Hour Dramedy

    Now, I would never make fun of CBS, which is a wonderful network that everyone should watch. But, SNL, seeing CBS has been left out of the Emmys race by cable and streaming networks airing half-hour "dramedies" as awards-bait, decided to imagine what CBS's entry into the fray could look like. Enter Broken, a "comedy" about "a family of adjunct professors who were all diagnosed with depression on the same day," a scathing, accurate indictment of shows like Transparent.

  • Leslie Jones Joins Weekend Update To Discuss Being Hacked

    Now, I was very close to giving this spot to "A Girl's Halloween," which was a horrifying (and realistic) portrayal of how holidays go down in New York City (hope they do Santacon next), or this cut-for-time sketch featuring my favorite recurring down-on-his-luck comedian Bruce Chandling (Kyle Mooney) and Tom Hanks as 80's-style stand-up Paul Cannon, but I've got to give it to Leslie Jones, who, for the second time this season, has turned getting hacked and her nude pictures leaked by horrible racist online trolls into comedy.

    It's terrible that this is even a thing, but it's a testament to Jones's resilience and comedic genius that she can turn this into funny bits twice. "The only person who can hack me, is me, and my firewall is a crazy bitch with a shovel."

Next week, SNL takes a week off, and comes back just before the presidential election with Benedict Cumberbatch and musical guest Solange.