Hi everyone. It’s me, Tom Hanks, star of such cinematic masterpieces as Saving Private Ryan, Forrest Gump, and the phenomenal Carly Rae Jepson’s “I Really Like You” music video. Oh, did that last one surprise you? Well kids, after 35 years of turning out critically approved blockbusters, I’ve got to admit that I’m sick of all this prestige. I’m ready to begin a new chapter in my incomparable career:
I want to Bill Murray myself.
That’s right. Much like the anti-vaxxers, I want to go viral! (See what I did there? It’s this kind of finger-on-the-pulse with-it-ness you can expect from the new T.Hanks. Did you see what I did there as well?) I’m going to be real with you. And to put it in a way that’s super hip with the teens: I’m “tryna” make the transition from man to meme. (Note to image consultant: Please verify pronunciation of the word “meme”. Did you see what I did there? I didn’t.)
Just like in the 90s when I became the only person in history to win two consecutive Best Actor Oscars and was heralded as The New Paul Newman, I’ve got my sights set on taking up a new mantle: The New Bill Murray. There is room in this town for two medium-old white men who go with the flow, and I intend to be one of them.
Yes, that old card Bill Murray has made himself a bit of a trickster spirit you might catch out of the side of your eye at twilight. Nowadays, he’s known for dispensing wisdom at civilians’ bachelor parties and crashing engagement photo shoots even more than he’s known for his iconic smash hits like Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day. Bill Murray, famous for popping up at an old folk’s home in Florida to paint a mural of the D-Day Landings featuring tangerines. Bill Murray, who picked up a shift at McDonalds so the cooks could go sledding. Bill Murray, who joined the Toronto Marlies hockey team for a month and kissed each one of them gently on the eyelids just before they fell asleep.
What’s that aging Hollywood icon got that I don’t?
My plan is this: Where there is a moment of poignant wonder, there I’ll be. Look for me at your next rustic barn wedding or karaoke-infused memorial gathering. You’ll find me waiting with you for the bus in Georgia in the rain. Traversing the Indian Ocean on a mostly empty cruise ship. On top of the Empire State Building after hours. In Philadelphia, the city from the movie, Philadelphia. At Walt Disney World, in the parking lot. Popping out of your child’s toy chest, just before dawn. And maybe I’ll stop by your Grandma’s funeral to playfully hide her ashes before I buy everyone ice cream cones. If there’s anything that could use a little magic, don’t call Murray. Call me, Tom Hanks.
There comes a time in every American treasure’s life when chameleon-like acting no longer amuses him, and he wants to give joy to people in a more direct way. I have been going to gyms across America to give people the opportunity to fulfill their life-long dream since 1994 of yelling “Run, Forrest, Run!” as I jog on the treadmill. I’ve been putting snakes in people’s boots so they can repeat Woody from Toy Story’s catchphrase. I’ve been captaining boats so I can both officiate weddings and give children the opportunity to say, “I am the captain now.” I’ve had very few bites. Most people ask for my autograph and graciously scurry off, instead of sharing an impossibly beautiful moment of serendipity with me, a Hollywood deity who is really just a person like you, fleetingly alive on this beautiful, improbable planet.
I’m really going for more of that kind of vibe.
Expect the unexpected, because life is like a box of chocolates: Sometimes, you gotta rebrand.
You’ve got a friend in,