Hard Pass

Tom Hanks turned down paying Jeff Bezos $28M to go to space

“I ain’t paying.”

Tom Hanks

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 02: Tom Hanks arrives at Pacific Design Center on November 02,...
Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images

William Shatner seemed to have a great time during his 12-minute trip to outer space last month aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard... until it was hideously, unsurprisingly ruined by Jeff Bezos. Now, we might have an explanation as to why the private space company CEO decided to interrupt a sober nonagenarian’s heartfelt recounting of the cosmos by popping a bottle of champagne: Shatner was never even Bezos’ first choice.

That unfortunate ranking can be bestowed upon Tom Hanks, who last night discussed being approached to take the trip while on Jimmy Kimmel Live. After being asked by Kimmel whether or not the rumor of his invitation was true, Hanks confirmed, “Well, yeah, provided I pay.”

“And, you know, it cost 28 million bucks, or something like that. And I'm doing good, Jimmy. I'm doing good. But I ain't paying [that]" Hanks continued. And just like that, Tom Hanks continues to be the Best American of us all.

Who asks Tom Hanks to pay for anything? — Really, though, if nothing else confirms that Jeff Bezos is one of the world’s biggest jabronis, it’s the fact that he expected Tom “Apollo friggin’ 13” Hanks to pony up millions of dollars for a quick jaunt to outer space. Sure, Hanks’ net worth is apparently something around $400 million... but that’s not the point here. The point is Bezos head is so high in the figurative (and occasionally literal) clouds that he thinks propositioning Hanks with a $28 million ticket is totally fine and dandy.

Blue Origin expects a lot — To be fair, this also totally tracks for Blue Origin as a whole so far. Bezos’ level of entitlement regarding his second-string spacefaring company is pretty extraordinary. This is, after all, a man who would rather delay humanity’s return trip to the moon than admit his proposal to NASA wasn’t as good as his competitor SpaceX’s. The sooner we divest this man (and all grotesque rich people) of their obscene wealth, the better.

Except for Tom Hanks. He can keep his money, as far as we’re concerned.