Just hours after Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in as President and Vice President of the United States, Oscar winner Tom Hanks helped cap off Inauguration Day 2021 with a Celebrating America special. Kicking off at 8:30 p.m. ET across multiple networks, Hanks, who in August had hosted a "Grassroots Fest" with Biden, hosted the event, prompting plenty of discussion on social media. Many comments zeroed in the fact the Forrest Gump actor must have been freezing as he stood outside at the National Mall to emcee the event.
Meant to "showcase the American people's resilience, heroism, and unified commitment to coming together as a nation to heal and rebuild" and "highlight the strength of our democracy, the perseverance of our people, and our ability to come together during trying times and emerge stronger than ever before," according to the special's producers, the 90-minute broadcast was reminiscent of the virtual programming that aired during the Democratic National Convention over the summer. Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, and Ant Clemons performed during the special. Timberlake and Clemons performed their new song "Better Days," with Timberlake stating prior to the special, "This song was our way of doing what little we could to encourage everyone to stay hopeful." Biden and Harris, who just hours earlier made history during their swearing-in ceremonies at the Capitol, also delivered remarks.
Hanks anchored the program throughout it all, providing viewers with a familiar face, even as the temps in Washington D.C. were in the 30s. Scroll through to read some of the best fan reactions to the Cast Away star's chilly predicament.
"I'm comforted by how cold Tom Hanks looks. He's freezing his billionaire ass off. For us. To bring us some peace of mind," one person tweeted. A second person wrote, "Tom Hanks looks cold. Hey @BernieSanders think you could lend him your jacket and mittens for a few hours?"prevnext
Folks, this time of year, please remember, if you're cold, your Tom Hanks is cold. Bring him inside. pic.twitter.com/3YxpeJahN2— Brandon Carbaugh (@BMCarbaugh) January 21, 2021
Chasten Buttigieg, the husband of Biden's nominee for secretary of transportation Pete Buttigieg, was nearby and shared a light comment about Hanks' situation. He quipped, "If I walk with 'I saw Lady Gaga this morning' energy can I get past security to give @tomhanks a coat?"prevnext
I will be confiscating Tom Hanks until america learns not to leave him out in the COLD during a PANDEMIC pic.twitter.com/P9BRVjWwxh— Amy, 2022 Mothman Festival Queen (@cableknitjumper) January 21, 2021
One viewer from north of the border wrote, "I'm Canadian and I don't think I've ever looked as cold as @tomhanks does tonight. Coat check please!!" Yet another Twitter user wrote, "Can John (Legend) please lend @tomhanks his coat when he is done? Tom looks really cold."prevnext
"I was just about to tweet that @tomhanks looks so cold," another person wrote. "Too bad the guy famous for taking photos of lost things didn't spot a coat on the ground on the way to the Lincoln Memorial."prevnext
"Alright I'm gonna say it. @tomhanks needs a jacket lol," Tampa-based ABC reporter Heather Leigh wrote. "It's cold!!! And I have been in that SAME position, outside live in the cold. Your lips begin to lock up, you begin to slur a bit. It's TOUGH to talk! Get him a jacket lol!!prev