Tom Hanks Tuesday: October Surprise

Rolling Stone/Courtesy

It’s been too long, my fellow Hanksians. I’ve been remiss, nay, neglectful in my lack of Tom Hanks updates. I thought, mistakenly, that this man did not require frequent updates, that there was simply not enough news about the star of my favorite detective/dog flick (“Turner and Hooch”). Well, I was wrong and I apologize. Tom Hanks is always relevant, always newsworthy, and like Hurricane Sandy, a force of nature that must be covered 24/7. I came to this realization when I saw Mr. Hanks in a state I had never seen him in before. In the past, I’ve noted (in pictorial detail) how versatile Tom Hanks can be. He can go from romantic to tragic in the blink of one of his beautiful, beautiful green eyes. But, Tom Hanks has always bordered on the side of avuncular cool. You know, that kind of cool an older brother exudes when he takes you to a carnival, loses you, and then you find a old fortune-telling machine that turns you into an adult. That kind of cool.

Clearly, I’m not an expert on cool. But, I know it when I see it and this week, Tom Hanks is on fire. In promotion of his new film “Cloud Atlas,” he made the talk show circuit as an actor is wont to do. But, this is Tom Hanks. He never does anything half-ass. No siree. He went on Jimmy Fallon, wore a black turtleneck, and slammed the shit out of a poem about “Full House.”

But, was conquering NBC with his suave syncopation enough for Sir Hanks? No fucking way. On to the King of cable satire, Stephen Colbert where Hanks treated the audience to not only his sweet sense of humor, but to a candy-coated cameo by Matt Damon (my dog’s unofficial name).

Now, this week, he graces the feature pages of “Rolling Stone” where he easily sheds that demure, grandmother-friendly exterior of yesteryear (e.g. this 1988 cover) for what he really is: Super Fucking Awesome. Vulgarity necessary. Hanks says that word like a pro:

So, why now? Why all of a sudden, at the age of 56, can Tom Hanks be deemed God of all that is glorious. As a Hanks scholar, I can point to the answer. Tom Hanks is defined by the first letter of his last name. His two best qualities come from that letter: humor and hair. Hanks has always been funny and his hair has changed dramatically, but his facial hair? Recently, Hanks has embraced the look of the elderly statesman with a fine line of upper mouth bristle and in “Cloud Atlas,” he rocks not one, not two, but four beards — all amazing. Maybe Mitt Romney should look to Hanks for how to increase youth appeal. Let it be known: the mustache makes the difference.