"That's okay, Tom's a good guy. He'll take it well," Eugene Levy joked

By Robyn Merrett
January 19, 2020 08:18 PM
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And so it begins!

The 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards have commenced with its traditional “I am an actor” opening, which sees stars share their favorite (and often hilarious) stories about being a working actor.

This year, Christina Applegate, Cynthia Erivo, and Eugene Levy kicked off the show — with the latter getting interrupted by his son and Schitt’s Creek costar Dan Levy halfway through, complaining he had taken up all of Tom Hanks‘ time by rambling on about growing up as a fan of Mr. Whipple and Sid Caesar.

“That’s okay, Tom’s a good guy. He’ll take it well,” Eugene said, the camera panning to an unhappy looking Hanks.

Later, the father-son Levy duo took to the stage to introduce the show, making it clear that they were not hosting, as they would not be appearing again during the telecast and — most importantly — they were not being paid.

Daniel Levy and Eugene Levy SAG Awards
Dan and Eugene Levy
| Credit: TNT
Tom Hanks SAG Awards
Tom Hanks
| Credit: TNT

The “I am an actor” opening began at the first SAG Awards in 1995, when Angela Lansbury introduced the concept of the ceremony and told the audience a little bit about herself.

“I’ve been Elizabeth Taylor’s sister, Spencer Tracy’s mistress, Elvis’ mother and a singing teapot,” she said before commending her fellow actors in the audience.

“Tonight is dedicated to the art and craft of acting by the people who should know about it: actors. And remember, you’re one too!” Lansbury concluded.

The tradition has continued for many years, with actors speaking on their experience in the industry, ending their speech with the line “I am actor.”

There is no SAGs host this year. Megan Mullally took the stage last year, delivering a monologue poking fun at Glenn Close, Lady Gaga and Emma Stone.

“To SAG nominee, the beautiful Emma Stone, who just turned 30,” Mullally said at the Shrine Auditorium to a surprised Stone.

“Our condolences. You had a great run, like a really great run,” she joked. “Extra good. But we’re looking forward to your reverse mortgage loan commercials. They’re going to be great.”

Mullally followed in the footsteps of Kristen Bell — the show’s first-ever host in 2018 — and opened up the night by joking about awards season.

“It is my great privilege to welcome you all to the 25th annual SAG Awards — the night where Hollywood finally shines a spotlight on actors,” said Mullally. “It’s just brave. Look, I mean come on, everybody knows that winning a SAG Award is the greatest honor an actor can receive this weekend.”

The 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards are airing live Sunday starting at 8 p.m. ET on TNT and TBS.