Love him or hate him, Elon Musk is one of the world’s most famous, influential people today. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO is no visitor to controversy. His statements and random tweets on various topics have always caught the eyes of the public, with some people agreeing with them and a handful not sharing his rhetoric. In 2021, the billionaire entrepreneur was featured on NBC’s Saturday Night Live (SNL) as the host.
Like most of the moves he makes, it was the talk of the town. The build-up to the show was especially dramatic as some of the crew members openly disapproved of Musk’s appearance. Unsurprisingly, such cast members were allowed to sit out the week’s episode to grow controversy and, in turn, spark the audiences’ curiosity, increasing the ratings.
However, some crew members were receptive to Musk hosting the show. For such people, and the curious viewers who tuned into the show, the Tesla CEO did not disappoint. He did exceptionally well as the first person, not an athlete or someone in the entertainment industry, to host SNL since Donald Trump in 2015. Below are the seven best moments from Elon Musk’s SNL appearance.
Quick Facts About Elon Musk’s SNL Appearance
|The SNL show hosted by Elon Musk aired on May 8th, 2021.
|Elon Musk was the second non-athlete and non-entertainer to host the Saturday Night Live show.
|The episode was the third highest-rated one of the season after episodes hosted by Dave Chappell and Chris Rock.
|Some crew members were against Musk hosting the show due to his controversial Twitter posts, comments, and billionaire CEO status.
|Elon Musk introduced his mother during the show as part of the Mother’s Day special.
|Miley Cyrus appeared on the show as the musical guest and performed with Elon during the closing credits.
|Several celebrities, including Pete Davidson, appeared in the night’s sketch comedies.
|Crew and cast members opposed to Elon hosting the show were allowed to miss the week’s recording.
Why the SNL Show Invites Public Figures to Monologue
When it comes to shows such as SNL, ratings are everything. You would want to attract as many viewers as possible and keep them occupied to promote your show.
Lorne Michaels, SNL’s longtime experienced executive producer, has an excellent grasp of this concept. In every episode, the production guru invites public figures and celebrities to provide an amusing opening monologue and act as the show’s host to capture viewers’ attention.
Public figures often hold influential and significant societal positions, attracting viewers and producing more outstanding ratings. The aim is to keep the show in the national conversation.
Similarly, monologues are a perfect avenue for public figures to flaunt their sense of humor and showcase their brands to their fan base. Overall, the SNL monologues are tailored to capture a large audience while adding to the show’s entertainment value. A combination of these two ensures sky-high ratings.
The Best Moments from Elon Musk’s SNL Appearance
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk isn’t known for his fun side. Instead, he is often famous for trying to be funny online and for his controversial contributions to trending topics on Twitter.
Despite having no acting, musical, or entertainment experience, Musk delivered a surprisingly great show. Below are some of the most memorable moments from the running sketch comedy where the controversial billionaire turned heads and surprised millions.
1. The Autism Reveal
Musk made shocking reveals from the onset of the opening monologue subtly and funnily. He purported to be the first person with Asperger’s Syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder, to host the show. If not, he was at least the first host to admit to having the condition publicly.
However, this is not entirely true. Dan Aykroyd, a former member of the SNL crew, who hosted the show in the early 2000s, publicly stated he suffered from Asperger’s while on the job. He shared his diagnosis, symptoms, and journey with the disorder, making him the first host to publicly admit to having the complication.
Nonetheless, Musk’s reveal remains an iconic part of the show that puts some things into perspective. Think of all the times the Tesla CEO misjudged his attempts at humor, his actions’ effects on others, or his profound monotone. It may have been due to the impact of Asperger’s Syndrome.
2. Elon’s Mother Gets on Stage
Elon’s opening monologue was not short of surprises. In the middle of a humorous presentation, he invited his mother, Maye Musk, on stage to talk more about his childhood. She did not disappoint.
The two were an iconic duo on stage, airing jokes, mainly at Elon Musk’s expense. Maye constantly called out Elon for his Twitter account, controversial opinions, and behavior with a touch of humor that seemed to entertain the audience. It was heartwarming to watch the mother-son duo.
As if hearts weren’t warmed enough for the night by the exchange, Elon added an ‘aaaaw’ moment by wishing Maye a happy Mother’s Day in front of the studio audience and telling her he loves her. The exchange ended in the same humorous spirit, as Maye said she expected a Mother’s Day gift that isn’t Dogecoin.
3. Interesting Revelations About Elon’s Childhood
We can all admit that, at some point, we’ve wondered what Elon Musk was like as a child. Was he as normal as his peers, or was he as awkward as he is now? Well, one of the best moments on the show was when Elon and his mother gave SNL viewers hints about his childhood.
Before ushering his mother on stage, Elon joked that his size was the only difference between him as an adult and a child. His mother, Maye, partially confirmed this by asserting Elon’s interest in space and innovation. When he was twelve, the young genius created a computer game, Blast Star, whose objective was to traverse obstacles in a space-themed setting.
The hilarious thing about young Elon’s game is that, although he sold it for $500, he did not see a cent of the money. Since he was too young to open a bank account, he handed the money to his mother to do so on his behalf. Elon confronted his mother on stage, asking where his money went, but she hurriedly dismissed the issue. We all know he isn’t getting it any time soon.
4. Elon’s Vision for the Future
Elon Musk is renowned worldwide as the CEO of Tesla, which manufactures electric vehicles, and SpaceX, a company hell-bent on exploring space. Heading these two companies hints at the billionaire’s vision for the future. However, in his SNL appearance, he expressed his vision with humor.
In his opening monologue, Musk stated that his vision is a renewable energy-thriving future and a multi-planetary civilization that explores the beauty and potential of space. He joked and said his life would be much easier if he tweeted that instead of sending tweets such as “69 days after 4/20 again haha.”
If you follow him on Twitter, you know how cringe and controversial his posts can get. However, he occasionally tweets funny memes.
5. Joe Rogan’s Podcast
If you are an ardent social media user, you have probably encountered an Elon Musk meme where he appears to be smoking marijuana. The iconic photo is an extract from a video taken when the Tesla CEO was on Joe Rogan’s podcast. He shamelessly used the trending picture humor content in his SNL appearance.
Musk joked that just because he once smoked weed on Joe Rogan’s podcast, people assume that all he does is move from podcast to podcast smoking. He satirically equated this to reducing O.J. Simpson to a murderer because he killed someone once. It was an excellent instance of comic relief and one of the episode’s best moments.
6. Dogecoin-Funded Satellite
Elon Musk often airs his interest in cryptocurrency, with his eyes recently fixed on Dogecoin, which some people may view as an obsession.
Although he mentioned cryptocurrency throughout his time on SNL, one of the most memorable moments was when the billionaire said his SpaceX company’s plans to launch a Dogecoin-funded satellite. He made fun of the move, taking a jab at his credibility as a tech billionaire.
7. The Masked Singer
Elon Musk is a lot of things, but no one could probably guess he could have the vocals or skills to pull off a live musical performance. The Tesla CEO pulled another surprise on his SNL appearance in The Masked Singer skit segment.
Elon donned a fake cow costume and gave an exhilarating performance of his rendition of “Mama Said Knock You Out” by LL Cool J. It was a pleasant, memorable surprise.
SNL occasionally invites controversial personalities to appear and host the show to capture a wider audience. Elon Musk’s SNL appearance is one such invite that sparked a mixed reaction from the SNL crew and viewers. The billionaire Tesla and SpaceX CEO is one of the few non-entertainers to host the show.
Surprisingly, Elon Musk did exceptionally well hosting the show, despite having no music, acting skills, or experience. The episode was complete with witty humor, and the tech guru even attempted a musical performance, which formed part of the best moments of his appearance on SNL. Unsurprisingly, the episode is among the highest-rated appearances in the show’s history.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock.com.