Tom Hanks to host Biden/Harris inauguration TV special

Photo: Chris Delmas (Getty Images)

We’re approximately two years into 2021, and it’s been a bumpy ride. With warnings of potential armed demonstrations at state capitols in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, and an impending vote on whether or not to impeach Donald Trump for inciting last week’s insurrection, many of us are understandably feeling anxious. Here to help us get through the next week is America’s extremely reliable and reasonable dad, Tom Hanks. Per Deadline, the actor has been enlisted to host Celebrating America (mmm, should we though), a televised special featuring musical performances and ending with the inauguration of Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on January 20.

So far, the event has booked Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato, Jon Bon Jovi (sure!), and Ant Clemons to perform, with more special guests and performers to be announced over the coming days. The 90-minute event will air across multiple networks, including ABC, NBC, and CBS, beginning at 8:30 ET. Biden and Harris will be customarily sworn in at noon on January 20 on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, though much of the inauguration proceedings will be done virtually—due to both the pandemic and last week’s violent insurrection by white supremacists, as well as the FBI’s warnings of plans for additional “armed protests.”

Biden and Harris are also planning events for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 18, followed on January 19 by a Memorial To Lives Lost in honor of the more than 300,000 people who have died from COVID-19. Surely Tom Hanks will help smooth the edges on all of that, though.

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