Tom Hanks to host inauguration special with performances by Demi Lovato, Bon Jovi


We are less than a week away from the inauguration of our 46th President of the United States of America. On January 20th, Joseph R. Biden will swear his oath. My gawd, will we make it until then? I know we will. And it’s historic for so many reasons. Even if we set the traitorous uprising aside (which we can’t), we will swear in our first female vice-president, our first Black-Indian vice president and the first inauguration to take place while most of the country is in lockdown due to a virus. Not to mention it means the end of the term of one of if not the worst president in our history. It’s a bigger deal now because DC is taking unprecedented safety measures, with public monuments being closed as a security risk and companies like Airbnb cancelling all reservations and returning deposits for those dates since they can’t properly vet the renters. Because of the uncertainty with both the pandemic and the very recent insurrection, many of the inaugural events will look different this year. In addition to a virtual parade, the Biden team has orchestrated a Primetime special for the evening of the Inauguration. In lieu of at least one of the balls that would have normally taken place, a bevy of Hollywood stars and recording artists will perform to celebrate the event. And it will be hosted by none other than America’s Dad, Tom Hanks.

The unprecedented inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will feature a Jan. 20 primetime TV special hosted by Tom Hanks, following a day of ceremonies, in what the inaugural team is calling a “capstone” to “showcase the American people’s resilience, heroism, and unified commitment to coming together.”

The 90-minute program will air on the major broadcast and cable news networks, except for Fox, who is streaming it instead, according to a news release from the inauguration team.

The special will include speeches by both President-elect Biden, 78, and Vice President-elect Harris, 56, as well as celebrity performances.

Ant Clemons, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato and Justin Timberlake will all perform. Clemons and Timberlake will sing their “Better Days,” which they wrote.

Biden’s inaugural team said the special “will highlight the strength of our democracy, the perseverance of our people, and our ability to come together during trying times and emerge stronger than ever before.”

“The program will celebrate American heroes who are helping their fellow Americans through this crisis, including frontline workers, health care workers, teachers, citizens giving back, and those who are breaking barriers,” organizers said in the news release.

The Hanks-hosted TV special will air at night, after Biden and Harris participate in a military ceremony and Biden attends a wreath-laying with other former presidents.

[From People via Just Jared]

Of course Fox is sitting this one out. It is appropriate that Hanks is hosting. Hanks, of course, is the safe choice and I’m sure it will all feel like a big hug. I have no interest in watching Justin Timberlake do anything. Honestly, I can’t say I’m really that amped about this special at all. I have nothing against it, I appreciate the team is working with what they have. And I applaud them for not making any selfish choices that involve in-person events. I hope we get a firework display somewhere but I guess that’s a gathering risk too, so I can wait.

I will tune in for Biden and Harris’ speeches, though. Hearing them make promises once in power will be the real warm blanket I need. The image I can’t wait for is when they take the oath and swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. I fantasize about that moment, when those words are spoken and the 45th administration is done, over, finished. Here’s to the 46th.

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21 Responses to “Tom Hanks to host inauguration special with performances by Demi Lovato, Bon Jovi”

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  1. Watson says:

    Timberlake sucks. Were more inspired choices unavailable? Geez.

    That being said he’s still more relevant than 3 doors down.

    • sassy pomeranian says:

      @watson – I didn’t see your comment until I wrote mine! Nailed it

    • Godwina says:

      Lawd, not one of those acts has my interest. That musical lineup is the wet blanket on the “warm blanket” of Inauguration Day.

      Will there still be a live airing at noon of the actual swearing in? Or is nothing being aired until evening? In other words, how do I plan my day around watching the important stuff: oaths and speeches?

  2. Becks1 says:

    I think this sounds fun and a good idea under the circumstances.

    I am supposed to work on Wednesday and while I’m at home and I can just park my laptop in front of the TV, I think I may take the day off and just enjoy the end of the Trump administration and the start of Biden-Harris. I’m taking a break from drinking this month, but I’m trying to decide if I should have a glass of champagne next wednesday or not. I feel like the day may call for it. If not, I’ll have sparkling water in my Biden-Harris wine glass, lol.

    • Esmom says:

      Sounds like a good plan, with or without booze. Trump’s inauguration was extra horrible for me because I had a nasty flu and was in bed unable to even watch TV. I had the radio on and was listening to his “American Carnage” speech and was more appalled with every word he had. He established himself on Day 1 as the Divider in Chief. So ominous and now we see how foreshadowed his horrible end.

      Such a contrast to Obama’s inauguration where my friend hosted a nice brunch party. We cried a lot. So much hope and joy, it seems almost unreal now.

      • Snazzy says:

        I was hoping to meet a few of my desi girlfriends and have a small party and watch it on TV out here (I’m in Europe) as we are all so excited about Auntie K, but with the pandemic I’ll stay home and happily drink and watch, even if they did choose Justin Timberlake to be part of the show.

  3. sassy pomeranian says:

    Timberlake and Lovato? Geesh. I would think they could pull cooler, more diverse and relevant artists. Bummed out by this.

  4. lobstah says:

    Awww man….who invited Justin Timberlake?!

  5. sealit says:

    Jan 20 is my birthday. I haven’t looked forward to a birthday since I was in my 20’s. Worldwide party this year!!!

  6. wheneight says:

    How is Timberlake, Demi Lovato, and Bon Jovi the best they could do? I guess it’s a step up from Trump’s inauguration acts but not by much. Excited about Tom Hanks though.

  7. Normades says:

    I hope they announce other acts, Taylor Swift would be good.
    But this will probably be a feel good cry fest with video portraits of courage.

  8. Lightpurple says:

    Lady Gaga is performing the National Anthem at the Inauguration. She and Biden have been friends for years since they worked together on a documentary about sexual assault.

    • Becks1 says:

      I just saw on twitter than Jennifer Lopez will be there as well, not sure if she will be part of the evening performance or part of the ceremony.

      And when I say “I just saw on twitter” I mean Chrissy Teigen, so I’m assuming she’s right, LOL.

  9. Lunasf17 says:

    I co-sign all these comments about the poor music choices. This is the best the dems could get? Are you kidding me?! These aren’t great AT ALL. Two washed up, boring pop stars and an aging rocker!

  10. steph says:

    I haven’t finished reading yet but I wanted to comment on “my gawd, will we make it until then?” Our mayoral race is coming up and candidates ads are starting to air. It’s a very important election for me but I’m exhausted! Like, give me until January 21st before I start vetting the candidates. Let me have until I know we still have a country and a democracy.

  11. steph says:

    I’m not really excited about the line up.

  12. Jennifer Ann Plauche says:

    1/20/21 – starting with champagne when Biden takes the oath, continued day drinking along with whatever food I feel like stuffing in my gullet. 5 big boxes of fireworks at night. I just wanted blue but they only carry USA colors. Don’t worry, I will not be in charge of setting off fireworks. Best part is that it’s in a TRUMPER red part of PA so I know they will love it!! Seriously, this has been the worst 4 years and I have busted my butt to get the Biden win. Finally, something to really celebrate. I am going to play my own favorite tunes – ick Justin T

  13. Sandra says:

    I wish my biggest negative feelings surrounding this Inauguration was that Bon Jovi was playing it. I am so worried.
    Last inauguration, I sat in a bar getting quite drunk with fellow D.C. residents blocks from the inauguration concert while we made fun of the line up (or lack there of).
    I can’t stand Bon Jovi but it’s a better headliner than The Piano Guys.