Dressed in an all-black suit, Elon Musk walked onto the stage of NBC’s Studio 8H and dived into a “Saturday Night Live” monologue where he addressed some of his many controversies, ridiculed facets of his personal life, and shared his “vision for the future.”
The casting of the Tesla and SpaceX CEO as host marked a controversial choice for the sketch comedy show, which not only received waves of pushback from viewers but also a number of the cast and crew as well — among them Aidy Bryant and Bowen Yang.
“Did you think I was also going to be a chill, normal dude?” Musk asked of anyone he has previously “offended” at one point in his opening remarks.
After the show received criticism for selecting Musk to host the show after a weeks-long hiatus, some of the cast — including Pete Davidson and Michael Che — appeared to attempt to temper frustration from the general public.
Both said they were “excited” to have Musk hosting, while Davidson admitted to not understanding the problem people had with Musk and offering up that he is “just like, a really wealthy businessman that makes, like, nerd [expletive].”
Musk, one of the richest people in the world, is also highly active on Twitter — with some of his tweets, such as one where he downplayed the severity of the coronavirus crisis and another critical of unions, attracting widespread negative attention.
In the lead-up to the show, Musk asked Twitter for “skit ideas” — which he was later corrected for by cast member Chris Redd, who said they are actually referred to as “sketches.” His tweet caught the eye of critics like Public Citizen, who asked him if he planned on acknowledging the wealth he accumulated during the pandemic.
After addressing the audience and sharing that it was an “honor” to be hosting the show, Musk mocked his own monotonal speaking style and made the public revelation that he has Asperger’s syndrome, now recognized as part of “a broader category called autism spectrum disorder” rather than its own separate diagnosis.
“Some people rarely know what I mean. That’s because I don’t always have a lot of intonation or variation in how I speak, which I’m told makes for great comedy,” Musk said. He also said he is the “first person with Asperger’s to host SNL” — which spurred many online to note that former cast member Dan Aykroyd, who has been open about having Asperger’s, hosted the show in 2003.
Musk then went on to address some of his controversial tweets, beginning by sharing his goals for the future — including renewable energy and that “humanity must become a multi-planetary spacefaring civilization.”
“I think if I just posted that on Twitter, I’d be fine,” Musk said. “Look, I know I say or post strange things, but that’s just how my brain works. To anyone I have offended, I just want to say I reinvented electric cars, and I’m sending people to Mars on a rocket ship.”
During the show, Colin Jost and Che poked fun at Musk for his series of controversies on the “Weekend Update” segment.
“I don’t know if you guys were following the news today, but a space rocket that was spinning out of control just minutes ago crashed into the ocean, and for just once, we know it’s not Elon’s fault,” Jost said with a slight chuckle. “A lot of people have been wondering, ‘Why is he hosting our show?’ and now we know — it’s because he needed an alibi.”
Prototypes of SpaceX’s Starship rocket have crashed during landing attempts — resulting in a variety of explosions.
Before bringing his mother Maye Musk on the show to join him — the monologue followed a tribute from cast members and musical guest Miley Cyrus to their mothers in celebration of Mother’s Day — Musk also appeared to take issue with people reducing him “to the dumbest things” he has ever done, such as smoking weed on Joe Rogan’s podcast.
“It’s like reducing OJ Simpson to a murderer. It was one time. Fun fact, OJ also hosted the show in ’79,” Musk said. “And again, in ’96. Killed both times.”
During the show, Musk appeared in several segments including one centered around people attempting to talk with one another — and somewhat failing — in post-quarantine times, one where he played a doctor in the parody of a medical drama about Generation Z, and another where he endorsed the cryptocurrency “Dogecoin.”
Watch some of the sketches below: