This image released by NBC shows musical guest Miley Cyrus (left), host Elon Musk and Cecily Strong (right) during promos in Studio 8H on May 6, 2021. (Image: Rosalind O'Connor/NBC via AP)
SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk marked his debut on the "Saturday Night Live" with a series of jokes and controversy.
Playing on Elon Musk’s reputation as an innovator, the broadcaster live-streamed the Saturday Night Live episode globally on YouTube, the first time the show has ever been viewable simultaneously around the world.
Also Read: What is Asperger’s syndrome? Elon Musk reveals on Saturday Night Live he suffers from this disorder
Here are some of the highlights from the show
The 49-year-old CEO, who is one of the world’s richest men opened his monologue by mocking his monotonal speaking style, saying no one can tell when he's joking.
“It’s great to be hosting 'Saturday Night Live,' and I really mean it,” he said standing on the stage in a black suit. “Sometimes after I say something, I have to say that I mean it.” “It’s great to be hosting 'Saturday Night Live,' and I really mean it,” said Musk standing on the stage in a black suit with a black T-shirt. “Sometimes after I say something, I have to say that I mean it.”Also read: Elon Musk shows humility and hubris as Saturday Night Live host
Musk said he was the first person with Asperger’s to host SNL — something he hasn’t said publicly before. It did not appear he was joking, but it was a bit difficult to be sure how sincere Musk was being, given his history as both an internet troll and someone who doesn’t always know how to deliver a joke.Also Read: Dogecoin plummets 23% after Elon Musk jokes about gifting it to mother Maye on Saturday Night Live
He also joked that people sometimes don’t know what to expect from him. “I reinvented electric cars and I’m sending people to Mars on a rocket ship,” he said. “Did you think I was going to be a chill, normal dude?” For this, Musk got his biggest laugh of the night, and an applause break from the studio audience.
He added, in explanation, that he is the first person with Asperger's syndrome to host the show. “Or at least the first person to admit it,” he said. It may have been the first time Musk has publicly said he has the mild form of autism.
He also said the name of his youngest child, spelled X Æ A-12 is “pronounced ‘cat running across keyboard.’”
He cited one example wherein he smoked weed on Joe Rogan’s podcast and griped that people now think he does that all the time. “It’s like reducing O.J. Simpson to ‘murderer,’” he said. “It was one time!”
Musk also joked about his Twitter account, which has more than 50 million followers, and the tweets that led some critics to object to his being invited to host the show. “Look I know I sometimes say or post strange things, but that’s just how my brain works," he said.
Musk’s mother Faye Musk also made an appearance during the monologue. “I’m excited for my Mother’s Day gift, I just hope it’s not Dogecoin,” she said. To which Elon replied “it is.”
The casting choice brought criticism from those who felt the show was celebrating a man for his exorbitant wealth in a time of great inequality and a man who spread misinformation to his huge Twitter following as he downplayed the severity of the coronavirus pandemic.