Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson talked jokingly about running for president with Tom Hanks in his monologue on the Season 42 finale of Saturday Night Live (SNL). Johnson, who hosted the May 20 season finale episode of SNL with Katy Perry, opened by celebrating his fifth time hosting the show and declaring his new membership of the “Five-Timer’s Club.”
With an eye on the recent series of mishaps threatening to end Donald Trump’s presidency prematurely, Johnson used his monologue to address recent rumors and speculation that he is planning to run for president in 2020. He jokingly confirmed the rumor and introduced Tom Hanks as his running mate.
“I just want to say once and for all, I’m in. Starting tonight, I’m running for the President of the United States,” he said, noting that he would need a good running mate to succeed.
Alec Baldwin came to the stage to convince The Rock that he was the perfect pick for a running mate. But Johnson ignored Baldwin and announced that he had settled for Oscar winner Tom Hanks.
Hanks, making a surprise cameo, came on stage.
“Dwayne, I could not possibly turn this down,” he said. “The truth is, America really needs us. I have been in two movies where a plane crashes, and people are still excited to see me on their flight.”
“In the past, I never would have considered running for president. I didn’t think I was qualified at all. But now, I’m actually worried that I’m too qualified,” Johnson continued, taking a jab at Trump who is widely criticized as unfit for office due to his political inexperience.
Johnson and Hanks then labored to convince viewers that they were eminently qualified to manage the country because of the diverse roles they have played in movies.
Hanks boasted that the Johnson-Hanks ticket would win all the votes. He assured the audience that they would win support from senior citizens and World War II veterans because he has “fought in World War II in like 10 different movies.”
“We will sacrifice and we will suffer but in the end we will win, because in the end we are Americans and that’s what Americans do.”
But in case some viewers had taken their declaration of the Johnson-Hanks 2020 ticket seriously, Johnson later clarified that they were joking.
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“When it comes to politics, we need more poise and less noise,” Johnson said. “Americans deserve strong capable leaders. Leaders who care about this country and care about its people.”
But Hanks seemed unable to resist thinking that the Johnson-Hanks ticket matched Johnson’s prescription of “strong capable leaders who care about this country and its people.”
“Dwayne, that kind of sounds like you and me… I guess we got to do it,” he said, as a banner emblazoned with “Johnson/Hanks 2020” dropped from the roof of the stage amid a shower of confetti.
Johnson had sparked rumors and speculation that he was thinking of running for president in 2020 when he told GQ that he had political ambitions and that running for office was a “real possibility.”
Later, on The Tonight Show with host Jimmy Fallon, Johnson spoke further about his political aspirations, expressing astonishment at the public reaction to his previous statement that he was looking at the possibly of running for office.
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“I’ve been really been blown away,” he said. “And it’s so flattering. And I think you have to question why.”
“I think it’s because, you know, a lot of people want to see a different leadership today — I’m sorry, not different, but better leadership today, right?”
This is the fifth time that Johnson has hosted SNL. Alec Baldwin inducted him into the “Five-Timers Club” by presenting him with an honorary robe.
His first time hosting SNL was in 2000 when he appeared as The Rock. He appeared a second time in 2002 and then in 2009 as The Rock Obama. The Rock Obama was a parody of President Barack Obama who transforms into a Hulk-like character when he is angry.
Johnson appeared once again on SNL in 2015 when he bragged that he was the “Franchise Viagra” who is able to boost any film with his appearance. He also did another “The Rock Obama” sketch in which he ripped off a senator’s arm in a fit of rage and threw another offending congressman out of the window of the Oval Office.
[Featured Image by Alberto Rodriguez/Getty Images]