Tom Hanks took to the SNL stage for the 9th time as host Saturday, and immediately proceeded to give an election season-weary U.S. audience a heartfelt pep talk from his position as "America's Dad." It was a mildly funny, charming start to what would prove to be a quality episode of the long-running sketch show.
The first sketch, "Black Jeopardy," was for Saturday Night Live an unusually nuanced and wickedly funny look at how certain perspectives can make for unusual allies. Hanks was note-perfect as a blue collar white guy who seemed oddly out of place until he began answering questions and he, the host (Keenan Thompson) and other contestants Leslie Jones and Sasheer Zamata discovered they shared unexpected common ground.
In a Halloween-themed sketch about a "Haunted Elevator" ride, Hanks may have contributed an instant classic character to SNL's sketch history as the inexplicably non-scary and thoroughly ridiculous David S. Pumpkins. The sketch built to perfectly timed and truly funny climax, and made us hope David Pumpkins elects to show up again next October.
In the digital short "A Girl's Halloween," Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong, and Vanessa Bayer were three millennial women whose twee plans for a fun night out on the town went horribly wrong. It was a funny and maybe slightly sad look at how really getting your party on isn't always as fun as anticipated.
When it returns on Nov. 5, SNL will be hosted by Doctor Strange himself, Benedict Cumberbatch.