Saturday Night Live - Tom Hanks

The Average

Cockpit – Hey, if you’ve got Tom Hanks fresh off his awards hopeful role in Sully, you might as well make a sketch out of it. And if you’ve got Alec Baldwin just sitting around after the cold open, you might as well use him again. This was a great take on Sully’s life after his famous rescue maneuver as he tries to get back into flying again. Having Tom Hanks in the role was what sold it, but I’m not sure it would have worked as well if it wasn’t him, and that’s what made me deny it from being one of the best.

Funny New Comedy – There’s some pretty feisty commentary here about which shows are considered for the comedy category at the Emmys, and they certainly have a point. Most comedies nowadays seem more dark than funny. While that still works for shows like Louie, Transparent and Baskets for the most part, it does seem like more straight-up comedy shows are being overlooked in favor of dramas that happen to have some funny moments. Using CBS as the network with this fake show was the best route to go for this one, and the over-the-top announcer added some humor, but I felt like it could have been a little funnier.

Saturday Night Live - Tom Hanks

Halloween Musical – The pacing of the faux Halloween show initially felt off, and not just for comedic effect. However, Tom Hanks, Cecily Strong and Melissa Villaseñor really sold it, and made it work better than it should have. But for me, the best part of the sketch were the occasional comments from the rest of the neighborhood. This sketch isn’t available to watch online, likely due to music rights since Journey’s song “Don’t Stop Believing” is used extensively for parody.

Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton Third Debate – SNL must have really wanted to get Tom Hanks in front of cameras right away in order to pull viewers in, because his impression of Chris Wallace wasn’t particularly good, and I’m sure someone on the cast could have done it better. But of course, the stars were Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump and Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton. This wasn’t quite as good as the second debate sketch, but Alec Baldwin simultaneously taking a dig at himself and his brother Stephen Baldwin was pretty great.

The Worst

America’s Funniest Pets with Tom Hanks – Don’t get me wrong, Tom Hanks really threw himself into his Ron Howard impression, which was a weird variance on this second appearance by these French characters. Much like their first appearance when Adam Driver hosted with a similarly strange sketch, the concept is amusing, and Cecily Strong and Kate McKinnon are good at the characters, but it just doesn’t work well enough for us to see them again.

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