Five takeaways as Elon Musk hosts 'SNL': Dogecoin, Grimes and that baby name
The Tesla and SpaceX billionaire's controversial 'Saturday Night Live' episode aired on Saturday, offering social media users plenty to discuss
Since Elon Musk was announced as the latest high-profile star to guest host Saturday Night Live, reaction has been mixed, to say the least.
Social media went into overdrive, some of the show’s regular cast members reportedly refused to perform alongside him and the announcement drew heavy criticism from many struggling performers.
Still, that didn’t stop people from tuning in as the Tesla and SpaceX billionaire made his live hosting debut.
Appearing alongside singer Miley Cyrus – and with a special guest appearance from his partner, singer Grimes – here are five takeaways from Elon Musk’s SNL episode …
1. Musk's Asperger’s
Musk got stuck straight in with his opening monologue, poking fun at his much-discussed monotonal speaking style, saying no one can tell when he’s joking.
“It’s an honour to be hosting Saturday Night Live. I mean that,” Musk said. “Sometimes after I say something I have to say, ‘I mean that’, so people really know that I mean it. That’s because I don’t always have a lot of intonational variation in how I speak – which I’m told makes for great comedy.”
He went on to add that he was making history with his appearance, becoming the first person with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, to host the show.
“I’m actually making history tonight as the first person with Asperger’s [syndrome] to host SNL,” he said. “Or at least the first to admit it.”
Musk added he wouldn’t “make a lot of eye contact with the cast tonight”, a characteristic of Asperger’s, “but, don’t worry, I’m pretty good at running human in emulation mode”.
2. The Dogecoin plunge
It took Musk a total of 14 minutes before he mentioned cryptocurrency Dogecoin, causing its price to immediately plummet. Musk is famously one of the parody cryptocurrency’s biggest fans, and often tweets about it.
During a guest appearance from Musk’s mother, Maye, as part of a special Mother’s Day segment, she said: “I am excited for my Mother’s Day gift. I just hope that it’s not Dogecoin.”
“It is. It sure is,” he replied.
The mention led to a sudden crash in price for Dogecoin, which dropped from a value of $0.70 to $0.49. However, by the time the show had wrapped, it was back up to $0.57.
The founders of Dogecoin were reportedly poised and ready to see whether Musk’s SNL appearance would lead to a market-shifting event, after he dubbed himself “The Dogefather” in a teaser ahead of the show.
3. A special appearance from Grimes
Fans were expecting to see a cameo from Musk’s partner, Canadian singer-songwriter Grimes, after she tweeted a teaser earlier in the day on Saturday. “Tune into SNL tonight to watch me try acting!”, she said.
However, what people weren’t expecting was to see the star in costume, impersonating video game character Princess Peach.
The appearance came in a skit that saw Musk dress up as Super Mario’s arch-nemesis, Wario. Alongside Kate MckInnon as Waluigi, the group acted out a courtroom scene in a trial for Mario’s murder.
As the defence called Musk’s Wario to the stand for a cross-examination, he denied he was “evil”, instead claiming he was “misunderstood”.
4. That name
In May last year, Musk and Grimes nearly broke the internet when they revealed the name of their newborn son: X Æ A-12.
Due to a law in California, which prevents names from having anything other than the letters of the alphabet in them, the pair were forced to change it to X Æ A-Xii, but the question still remained: How on Earth do you pronounce it?
And it seemed that not even the parents had agreed on that, with them each giving a different explanation to how it was said.
Of course, Musk used the interest in the name as material for his SNL appearance.
“SNL’s a great way to learn something new about the host,” he said during the opening monologue. “For example, this is my son’s name.”
As the name flashed up onto the screen, Musk said: “It’s pronounced ‘cat running across a keyboard.’”
5. Social media didn’t hate it
Naturally, the show has divided opinion. But there has been lots of praise for Musk coming through on Twitter.
“That was the best show in a long while!,” one Twitter user wrote.
“Great show, lots of high points. The 'Chadstronaut' on Mars is going to be a classic,” another said.
Elon Musk was trending on Twitter as the show aired, with many users keen to offer their two cents.
However, not everyone was as enthused.
“Worst. SNL. Ever. ***ouch***,” one viewer wrote on Twitter, while another added: “First show I have ever missed on purpose.”
Updated: May 9, 2021 11:47 AM