The actor gifted a Corona-brand typewriter to an 8-year-old Australian boy named Corona De Vries, after he was bullied for having a name associated with the current coronavirus pandemic. In an interview with Australia's Channel 7, De Vries explained that he found out that Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, tested positive for COVID-19 while in the country last month, and wrote him a letter.
"I heard on the news you and your wife had caught the coronavirus. Are you OK?" the boy read from his letter. He then shared that his schoolmates had been teasing him, calling him "the coronavirus," which made him "sad and angry."
That's when Hanks mailed him his Corona typewriter, along with a sweet note. According to multiple outlets, Hanks replied in a letter typed on the machine.
"Your letter made my wife and I feel so wonderful," he wrote. "You know, you are the only person I've ever known to have the name Corona, like the ring around the sun, a crown."
"I thought this typewriter would suit you. Ask a grown-up how it works. And use it to write me back," the note stated. Hanks then ended his note by referencing Toy Story and handwriting, "P.S. You got a friend in me."
"It is a strange time to try to be funny, but trying to be funny is SNL's whole thing, so we thought, 'What the heck, let's give it a shot,'" Hanks shared. "Why me as host? Well, for one, I have been the celebrity canary in the coal mine for the coronavirus."