His roles on the big screen have made Tom Hanks a box office legend. From “Splash” to “Captain Phillips,” the actor has created characters that audiences can embrace and admire. His movies have staying power years after they leave the theaters. Equally impressive are the instances of Tom Hanks on TV, from his early career days to the present.
1. "Bosom Buddies"
Hanks' first big break was on the sitcom “Bosom Buddies.” The goofy comedy about two guys who pose as women so they can live in an affordable Manhattan apartment starred Hanks and Peter Scolari. Hanks played Kip “Buffy” Wilson, an aspiring artist at an ad agency. He and his friend, Henry (Scolari), try to behave themselves around an apartment building full of girls. Of course, antics ensure.
The show ran from 1980-1982. DVD Verdict noted that
its “tired men-in-drag premise doomed ‘Bosom Buddies’ from the start,” but that the show enjoyed “engaging interplay among its actors,” especially Hanks and Scolari. After it was canceled, “Bosom Buddies” went into syndication and acquired a kind of cult following.
Hanks’ portrayal of Kip/Buffy made an impression on casting directors, who noticed his flair for comedy and charm. Not long after “Bosom Buddies” ended, Hanks landed the lead male role in the big screen film “Splash.” From there, a movie career was born.
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Although "Bosom Buddies" lasted just two seasons, Hanks is said to carry a sweet spot for the show. In 2011, he made a cameo appearance on “30 Rock” as a heavy-hitter Hollywood-type making a hotline call to George Clooney. At the end of the call, he sings the theme song to “Bosom Buddies,” the Billy Joel hit “My Life.”
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2. "Saturday Night Live" host
A look at appearances by Hanks on TV would not be complete without including his guest host spots on “Saturday Night Live.” As a gracious, engaging, and funny actor, Hanks can successfully draw in the audience from opening monologue through various skits.
Hanks has made eight guest host appearances on SNL, showing up in skits such as "Wayne’s World" and "Celebrity Jeopardy." According to "SNL" producer Lorne Michaels
, it was Hanks’ idea to start a five-timers club for those who have hosted the show five or more times. He appeared on the "SNL" 40th anniversary special along with other entertainers who have been on the show through the years.
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