Tech billionaire Elon Musk made his hosting debut on US comedy show Saturday Night Live this weekend and unsurprisingly used it to talk about one of his favourite topics – cryptocurrency.
Musk, boss of electric car manufacturer Tesla and aerospace company SpaceX, also told the audience that he had Asperger’s Syndrome – which is officially called Autism Spectrum Disorder – during his opening monologue, and joked about his son’s rather unusual name.
Saturday Night Live is an American pop culture institution and regularly invites A-list stars to host, but many people were unsure about Musk being admitted into that particular hall of fame, with his appearance highly anticipated as a result. Here, we look at the five most talked-about moments from his hosting gig.
Monologue! 💫 @elonmusk https://t.co/xeH1EOU79A
— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@Saturday Night Live - SNL)
Musk admitting he sometimes posts strange comments on social media
During the opening monologue, Musk, 49, referenced the indisputable face that he sometimes posts strange comments on his social media.
He said: “Look I know I sometimes say or post strange things but that’s just how my brain works.
“To anyone I’ve offended, I just want to say ‘I reinvented electric cars and I’m sending people to Mars in a rocket ship, did you also think I was going to be a chill, normal dude?’”
We’re pleased Musk has recognised this. The Tesla boss is seemingly on Twitter 24/7 and when he’s not talking about the latest SpaceX launch or arguing with Bernie Sanders he is often tweeting nonsense and memes.
Here are some examples...
No it doesn’t hurt at all 🩸 https://t.co/NnL6o1si0V
In 2018 Musk’s tweets were become so erratic and bizarre that Tesla investors had to tell him to basically ‘shut up’ as he was costing them money. This was after Musk tweeted about the Shortseller Enrichment Commission, a regulator that had just made a multi-million dollar settlement with him over alleged security fraud.
This might not have stopped him from sharing memes but he’s almost definitely a bit more measured about sensitive material these days.
Joking about his son’s rather unusual name
You won’t need reminding, but South Africa-born Musk is in a relationship with Canadian musician Grimes and they welcomed their first child, a son, last year in an event that made headlines for weeks – largely became they had named him X Æ A-Xii.
People were a little confused as to how to pronounce the name at first until Grimes went ahead and tried to explain it. However, even she appeared to be a bit confused as Musk later corrected her. It was all rather chaotic, to say the least.
Referring to the name on SNL, Musk said: “SNL is also a great way to learn something about the host. For example, this is my son’s name.” The name was then put up in subtitles across the screen.
Musk added: “It’s pronounced cat running across keyboard.” That one got a good LOL.
Referring to that time he smoked cannabis on a podcast
Musk also referred to an incident in 2018 where he inhaled from what Joe Rogan said was a combined marijuana-tobacco joint during an appearance on his eponymous show.
“A lot of times, people are reduced to the dumbest thing they ever did. Like one time I smoked weed on Joe Rogan’s podcast,” he said.
“And now all the time I hear ‘Elon Musk, all he ever does is smoke weed on podcasts’. Like I go from podcast to podcast, lighting up joints. It happened once, it’s like reducing OJ Simpson to murderer.”
The weed moment is certainly one of Musk’s more memorable moments. Musk didn’t seem to really know what he was doing when smoking the bifta and didn’t inhale any of the smoke or get any effects from it. However, his reaction was priceless and will live on in internet infamy in gif form.
Musk later revealed on 60 Minutes that he really didn’t know what he was doing with the joint. He told Lesley Stahl: “I am somewhat impulsive. I don’t really want to try to adhere to some CEO template. I do not smoke pot. As anyone who watched that podcast can tell I have no idea how to smoke pot, or anything.”
Causing Dogecoin to crash
Musk has been a giant advocate for Dogecoin – a cryptocurrency started as a joke –and, as predicted, referenced it in his opening monologue, just minutes into the hosting gig.
The first mention came when he brought his mother Maye onto the stage, who said she was excited for her Mother’s Day gift.
“I just hope it’s not Dogecoin”, she quipped, to which he replied “It is!”
The subtle reference didn’t only send investors into a selling frenzy, but caused technical problems on trading app Robinhood amid buyer-seller panic.
We are aware that customers may be seeing crypto orders display as "pending" for an extended period of time. We are… https://t.co/sayx9uK8PU
The price of Dogecoin was at around $0.70 before Musk started hosting the show, but after the mention dropped by as much as 24 per cent to $0.49.
It did rise during theWeekend Update segment, when Michael Che challenged Musk to explain what Dogecoin actually is.
“It (Dogecoin) started as a joke based on an Internet meme but now it has taken off in a very real way,” explained Musk.
He added: “It is the future of currency, it is an unstoppable financial vehicle that is going to take over the world,” before agreeing with Che that it’s “a hustle”.
The price rebounded from its low to around $0.57 after SNL finished.
Musk has coined himself “The Dogefather” on Twitter, although it is not known how invested in the token he is.
Revealing he has Asperger’s Syndrome
In the opening line of his monologue, Musk told the audience he has Asperger’s Syndrome.
“It’s an honour to be hostingSaturday 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 then added: “I’m actually making history tonight as the first person with Asperger’s [Syndrome] to host SNL.” The audience broke out in a round of applause.
He joked: “Or at least the first to admit it. So I won’t make a lot of eye contact with the cast tonight. But don’t worry, I’m pretty good at running ‘human’ in emulation mode.”
However, viewers later pointed out that Canadian comedian Dan Aykroyd, who also has the condition, previously hosted the show in 2003.
Asperger’s Syndrome, which is officially called Autism Spectrum Disorder, is a development disorder which can affect how someone interacts socially and can affect behaviour and cause thinking patterns to be be rigid and repetitive.
Musk was praised for talking about the condition. One person wrote: “As someone who has Aspergers, hearing Elon proudly speak about his neurological condition in his opening remark is very inspiring.”