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Tom Hanks will host Celebrating America, a 90-minute television special covering the inauguration of Joe Biden as the new president of the United States on January 20th.
Organizers have confirmed that this year’s ceremony will be massively scaled down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, making the television coverage all the more important. The program will be broadcast on CBS, ABC, CNN, NBC, and MSNBC television networks, as well as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, among other platforms.
With Tom Hanks as official host, the program will celebrate Joe Biden’s inauguration and “showcase the resilience of the American people, their heroism and the nation’s unified commitment to healing and rebuilding,” according to the committee organizing the inauguration.
Celebrating America will try to make up for the lack of public events with the lavish presence of artists such as Bon Jovi and Justin Timberlake on the program, as well as Demi Lovato, who used Twitter to say she would compose music inspired by the assault on the Capitol. We don’t know if she will have time to release this new songs for this program or if she will pull out her usual repertoire.
After the announcement that Hanks will host the ceremony, many netizens found an interesting reference in The Simpsons‘ 2007 film and jumped in to say that once again, the cartoon shown had predicted the future. As he did in Toy Story or The Polar Express, in The Simpsons film, Tom Hanks lent his unmistakable voice to an animated character, this time playing himself as a government collaborator in a special television program to open the fictional New Grand Canyon in Springfield.
In the film, you can see the “Simpsonized” version of the actor saying “Hi, I’m Tom Hanks. The U.S. government lost its credibility, so it borrowed some of mine.” Although Tom Hanks’ intervention in The Simpsons is not at the presidential inauguration ceremony, many people have found a clear parallel in the fact that the government has to rely on a much-loved celebrity to try to legitimize itself.
Many people see Tom Hanks hosting Biden’s inauguration as a clear sign of the new president’s desperation to gain credibility after an election under the shadow of suspected election fraud.
Tom Hanks, The Simpsons, and conspiracy theories
Lately, The Simpsons has become famous for its supposed ability to predict the future. Many have seen in this joke by Tom Hanks in The Simpsons a new premonition of the characters created by Matt Groening, of whom some have come to claim – we don’t know if jokingly or seriously – that he is a time traveler.
The outgoing president, Donald Trump, has also been claimed to be a time traveler, based on a 19th-century children’s book by writer Ingersoll Lockwood, in which his uncle allegedly had access to Nikola Tesla’s personal diary notes.
Tom Hanks has himself been a victim of implausible conspiracy theories such as the “pizzagate” about sexual abuse and human trafficking. Although other celebrities have been condemned for similar actions, the truth is that in the crazy times we live in, all kinds of conspiracy theories proliferate. Many have to do with time travel and the premonitory capacity of certain works of popular culture.
In series like The Simpsons or South Park, which have been on the air for decades and have all kinds of crazy plots, it is normal that from time to time they seem to get something right, but many prefer to give a mystical and irrational explanation.
In any case, it is very amusing that a humorous resource from a 2007 film ends up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, since due to the circumstances surrounding the presidential elections of last November 3rd, Joe Biden desperately needs to gain credibility, even if that means borrowing it from Tom Hanks.
Ignacio Manuel García Medina, Business Management teacher. Artist and lecturer specialized in Popular Culture for various platforms. Presenter of the program "Pop Libertario" for the Juan de Mariana Institute. Lives in the Canary Islands, Spain // Ignacio M. García Medina es profesor de Gestión de Empresas. Es miembro del Instituto Juan de Mariana y conferenciante especializado en Cultura Popular e ideas de la Libertad.
Social Networks: @ignaciomgm