Elon Musk showed a combination of humility and hubris as he opened his highly anticipated hosting gig on Saturday Night Live.
The Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder opened his monologue by mocking his monotonal speaking style, saying no one can tell when he’s joking.
“It’s great to be hosting Saturday Night Live and I really mean it,” said Musk standing on the stage in a black suit with a black T-shirt. “Sometimes after I say something, I have to say that I mean it.”
Musk also joked about his Twitter account, which has more than 50 million followers, and the tweets that led some critics to object to his being invited to host the show. “Look I know I sometimes say or post strange things, but that’s just how my brain works,” he said.
Then he added a boast that got his biggest laugh of the night, and an applause break. “To anyone who’s been offended, I just want to say, I reinvented electric cars, and I’m sending people to Mars in a rocket ship,” Musk said. “Did you think I was also going to be a chill, normal dude?”
Monologue! 💫 <a href=”https://twitter.com/elonmusk?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@elonmusk</a> <a href=”https://t.co/xeH1EOU79A”>pic.twitter.com/xeH1EOU79A</a>
Musk, one of the world’s richest people, told the audience he was “the first person with Asperger’s to host SNL. At least the first to admit it.”
Musk didn’t appear in the show’s warm and unconventional cold open, in which cast members and their mothers did brief bits for Mother’s Day as musical guest Miley Cyrus sang her godmother Dolly Parton’s inspirational Light of a Clear Blue Morning.
Happy Mother’s Day from SNL! <a href=”https://t.co/QFaVVGA84r”>pic.twitter.com/QFaVVGA84r</a>
But Musk brought his own mother, model Maye Musk, on stage during his monologue to talk about what he was like when he was 12.
“And I’m excited for my Mother’s Day gift. I just hope it’s not dogecoin,” she said, referring to the cryptocurrency Musk has touted on his Twitter account.
“It is,” he replied.
bestie’s gonna be okay, right? 💔 <a href=”https://t.co/fhT7DrQrIz”>pic.twitter.com/fhT7DrQrIz</a>
The casting choice brought criticism from those who felt the show was celebrating a man for his exorbitant wealth in a time of great inequality and a man who spread misinformation to his huge Twitter following as he downplayed the severity of the COVID-19 crisis.
Musk’s appearance has drawn comparisons to the show’s controversial decision in 2015 to invite Donald Trump to host as he was preparing for his presidential run.
Although it is rare for a business executive to host SNL, South Africa-born Musk, 49, is no stranger to pop culture or comedy. He has appeared on The Simpsons, Rick and Morty, and South Park, and his persona helped inspire Robert Downey Jr’s portrayal of superhero Iron Man in a series of Marvel films.
And now, every conversation with people you haven’t seen since quarantine started. <a href=”https://t.co/S8oUb5Pk8V”>pic.twitter.com/S8oUb5Pk8V</a>