Hanks pokes fun at Vegemite outrage


Tom Hanks gave Australia a couple of shout-outs and poked fun at his recent Vegemite fiasco in his opening monologue for Saturday Night Live.

The actor, who is now back in the US after testing positive and receiving treatment for coronavirus while in Australia, hosted this weekend's special edition of the long-running comedy show from his home.

Hanks kicked off the monologue with a greeting made famous by Tiger King's Carole Baskin, saying, "Hey all you cool cats and kittens".

He then referred to himself as the "celebrity canary in the coalmine for the coronavirus" and joked: "Ever since being diagnosed I have been more like America's dad than ever before. No one wants to be around me very long and I make people uncomfortable."

Tom Hanks hosted this week’s SNL form his home.
Tom Hanks hosted this week’s SNL form his home.

Hanks continued: "I was diagnosed back in March with the coronavirus. I was first diagnosed down in Australia. Now the folks in Australia are fantastic in every way, but they use celsius instead of fahrenheit when they take your temperature, so when they come in and they say, 'you're 36,' which seemed very bad to me, but it turns out 36 is fine. 38 is bad.

"Basically, it's how Hollywood treats female actors," he quipped.

The actor, who said he and his wife Rita Wilson are now "doing fine", then threw to questions from 'audience members' which were actually just himself in costumes.


In one of them, Hanks pretended to be an Australian man who asked: "I've got a question for Tommy Tim Tam, what's the right proper way to get a daily dose of your Vegemite?"

The camera cut back to Hanks in his hosting role who fobbed off the question with a laugh before saying, "enough of that".

If you missed the Vegemite drama, Hanks basically horrified every single Australian in mid-March when he posted a photo of his toast which was covered in an extremely thick layer of Vegemite.


Hanks, who was in isolation in Australia at the time, received thousands of replies from Aussie fans who felt obliged to educate the actor about the correct Vegemite-to-toast ratio.

Some of the comments included:

• "Oh my, Mr Hanks, not even the bravest Aussie would put THAT much vegemite on a piece of toast!"

• "Vegemite is not Nutella. You want to spread it thinly and mix it in with the melted butter until it looks like a poorly maintained public toilet. That's the sweet spot."

• "Life is like a tube of Vegemite. Don't try it all at once."

• "Corona won't kill you but that amount of Vegemite will!"

• "Maybe corona affects your tastebuds cos that's wayyyyy too much vegemite buddy."

• "That amount of Vegemite would put anyone in hospital. I developed a yeast infection just looking at this picture. (Also, best wishes for a speedy recovery.)"

A few days later, Hanks made it clear he'd seen the comments and wrote on Instagram: "I have learned not to spread my Vegemite so thick."

After his opening monologue, Hanks threw it over to the Saturday Night Live performers who had recorded sketches from their homes.

"There's no such thing as Saturday anymore," the actor said. "Every day is today. And we're not really live, but we are doing everything to make this feel like the SNL you know and love."

Originally published as Hanks pokes fun at Vegemite outrage