Entertainment

Of Course ‘Saturday Night Live’ Wanted Elon Musk to Host

The show only cares that the billionaire CEO and meme dork’s appearance will attract more viewers.
Ashwin Rodrigues
Brooklyn, US
May 6, 2021, 3:58pm
Elon Mus
Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

When Saturday Night Live announced that it would feature Elon Musk as an upcoming host, the response was predictable. Guys who like cryptocurrency thought it was epic, and people who think of Elon Musk as an anti-union peddler of coronavirus misinformation, who calls cave divers pedophiles, were less thrilled. Some SNL cast members expressed disapproval, leading to a Page Six story claiming cast members would not have to appear in sketches with Musk, unless they wanted to. 

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This choice from SNL is unremarkable in terms of a capacity for evil (see: Donald Trump hosting in 2015) or pure cringe concentrate (see: McKinnon as Hilary Clinton singing “Hallelujah” in 2016) But why would a show invite a host that actors don’t want to act with? 

The simple answer, proven by the news cycle, is that he’ll attract more viewers than the show usually gets. Publications that usually do not cover Saturday Night Live, such as MarketWatch, investment blogs like Benzinga, and Tesla blogs like Teslarati, have picked up coverage because of the May 8 host. Elon Musk, who boasts over 50 million Twitter followers, was a “get” for SNL, just as much as SNL must be a bucket list item for the noted comedy fan. If fans of Tesla are willing to conduct armchair car explosion investigations, surely they will sit through an hour of late-night television. 

Musk, to his credit, has displayed his zest for humor before, when he funded an ambitious comedy startup (though he abruptly pulled out), voiced “Elon Tusk” on Rick and Morty, and went on the Joe Rogan Experience, a popular podcast hosted by a stand-up comedian. He’s also been accused of stealing jokes from professional comedians on Twitter, a practice that can lead to consequences like representation with CAA

The comedy language of epicness is familiar territory for the billionaire and humor aficionado, who has a propensity for using the language of those who are perpetually logged-on in real life. After a 2019 court judgement which said Musk had not defamed the cave diver by calling him a “pedo guy,” Musk responded, “My faith in humanity is restored,” a statement which is also meme, harking back to 2000. 

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It’s unlikely that anyone’s opinion of Saturday Night Live or Elon Musk will change at this point. Simply, Musk is constantly in the news, and speaks the language of normies who think they are not normies. And it’s an objectivity riddle: if you tune in, they got you; if you don’t tune in, how can you criticize it? What if it’s actually good? All of these questions are beside the point; the show is going to happen, and it is going to affect one thing, certainly: dogecoin. The cryptocurrency that founder Jackson Palmer called a “joke” in 2018 is already reacting to SNL’s move.

This SNL episode will be the first to have a measurable effect on a cryptocurrency. After Musk announced “the Dogefather” would appear on SNL the cryptocurrency spiked, according to Coinbase. On May 8, many Americans across the country will likely hear of dogecoin for the first time, if and when he mentions it, and both Elon Musk and the new speculative meme money will gain more credibility and possible market cap. 

We will also soon live in a world where Elon Musk replies to people online with GIFs of himself performing on Saturday Night Live. And likely, they will be sold as non-fungible tokens (which SNL has already spoofed.) Elon will joke about his real plans to colonize Mars, and set off a crypto spike with the mention of “to the moon,” maybe right in the opening monologue. All of this makes sense here, on Earth.