The last time Tom Hanks hosted SNL was, somehow, all the way back in 2006, when he was promoting The Da Vinci Code. That seems impossible. He’s returned to Studio 8H a half dozen times since then, but never as a host. Apparently he’ll only drop by for every other Professor Robert Langdon movie, because while he skipped Angels & Demons, Hanks is coming back to SNL for Inferno. America’s favorite dorky dad will welcome musical guest Lady Gaga on the Oct. 22 episode, a week before the mystery-thriller is released.
It’s always fun seeing Hanks, an illustrious member of the Five-Timers Club, on SNL, but it’s a little surprising Lady Gaga wasn’t asked to do double-duty. She’s a Golden Globe-winning actress (that still feels weird to say) for American Horror Story, and a multi-platinum singer with a new album, Joanne. Let Gaga have her own episode, and Hanks can insist on Carly Rae Jepsen.
Hanks’ SNL musical pairings are a mixed bag. In 1985, it was Sade, which, sure. In 1988, Randy Travis; later that year, Keith Richards. 1990: Aerosmith; 1990 again: Edie Brickell & New Bohemians. 1992: Bruce Springsteen. 1996: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. 2006: Red Hot Chili Peppers. It could have been worse, especially for someone who hosted so often in the late 1980s and early- to mid-1990s. Hanks was spared having to say, “We have a great show tonight, the Spin Doctors are here,” unlike poor Joe Pesci.