Jimmy Kimmel got Tom Hanks’ honest reaction to a viral clip from “Jeopardy!” last week in which none of the contestants could correctly identify him as Mister Rogers.
In the clip, a contestant selected from the category “Biopics” and host Alex Trebek showed a segment of Hanks in costume as Fred Rogers for his new film that was opening that weekend, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” The contestants then they all stood there silently, buzzers in hand with no clue who they were looking at. Hanks couldn’t believe it.
“You are kidding me! They didn’t even have any wrong suggestions? Bing! Woody Harrelson? No. Bing! Mahershala Ali? No, I’m sorry,” Hanks marveled to the ABC late-night host on Monday in astonishment. “What was the name of the category? Washed up career choices for $800? Bad casting for $1000, Alex?”
Kimmel tried to soothe his ego by saying that he just embodied the role of Fred Rogers so well that it was hard to guess. But come on. It’s Tom friggin’ Hanks.
For the record, Hanks is excellent in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” and he said putting on Fred’s red sweater was like putting on Batman’s cape. Not only that, Hanks shooting a Mister Rogers movie in Pittsburgh was like shooting an Elvis movie in Memphis. He even had an unusual conversation with a man while on an elevator that made him realize what kind of a celebrity he was dealing with.
“As the doors were closing, he turned to me and said ‘We take Mister Rogers very seriously here.’ His eyes went snake like for a second,” Hanks joked.
The moment of Hanks reacting to the viral clip begins at the 4:23 mark of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” in the video above. “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” is in theaters now.