I never thought the day would come when I’d have to grapple with the reality of someone not recognizing Tom Hanks, the star of the recently released A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood as well as our modern-day Jimmy Stewart and second dad to a nation. But alas, that’s what happened on Jeopardy! earlier this week: Three contestants didn’t recognize Hanks, the focus of a video clue, and Hanks was offered the opportunity to react to that event while on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
While Hanks is what you’d imagine to be the definition of a “good sport,” he also appeared a little shocked and a little appalled by the clip. In case you missed it (you can watch here), the moment from the Jeopardy! episode consists of host Alex Trebek showing the contestants a soundless video clip of Hanks in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood dressed as his character, Fred Rogers, and the contestants were asked to identify the actor playing Rogers.
Even through the Rogers make-up, Hanks’ face is fairly discernible, not to mention the fact the movie has been promoted fairly well so it’s not unreasonable to think the contestants would have had some clue of who it was. But, alas, no contestant was able to answer. When Jimmy Kimmel showed Hanks the clip, the actor replied, “You are kidding me!” before going on a run of quips that included him asking jokily, “They didn’t even have any wrong suggestions?” Kimmel offered a more reassuring take, telling Hanks: “I look at it as you inhabited that character so beautifully that even they were absorbed instantaneously!”
So, I guess this is the new normal, huh? Just living with the knowledge a ton of people probably can’t pick Hanks out of a crowd when he’s not existing as himself? As a balm to this funny reaction to being unrecognizable, Hanks did share stories with Kimmel about being recognized while dressed as Rogers while the film was shooting, so I guess it’s not all bad.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is now showing in theaters. For more, check out our positive review of the movie and watch Hanks’ reaction to that Jeopardy moment below: