OK, That Was Actually Funny: Elon Musk (Joined By His Mom!) Delivers Self-Deprecating SNL Opening Monologue


SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk delivered a self-deprecating opening monologue on Saturday Night Live, making fun of many aspects of his persona and getting plenty of laughs from the audience.

Musk’s selection as the night’s host was controversial, with even several SNL cast members publicly voicing their disapproval. Musk’s seeming attempt to crowdsource ideas for sketches on Twitter drew mockery. Pete Davidson, however, said he didn’t think it was a big deal and didn’t know why people were “freaking out.”

But the big question remained: would the billionaire be…funny?

It may have partly been a function of setting low expectations and then exceeding them — and let’s not forget to give credit to SNL’s writing staff — but the live audience certainly seemed to find him entertaining, punctuating virtually all of his jokes with laughter and even cheers.

Musk began by thanking the audience and saying what an “honor” it was to be hosting SNL.

“I mean that,” he quipped, making fun of his own voice. “Sometimes after I say something I have to say ‘I mean that.’ So people really know that I mean it already, that’s because I don’t always have a lot of intonation or variation in how I speak — which I’m told makes for great comedy.”

“I’m actually making history tonight as the first person with Asperger’s to host SNL — or at least the first to admit it,” Musk continued, publicly mentioning that he has the condition for the first time. “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.”

“Look, I know I sometimes say or post strange things but that’s just how my brain works,” Musk explained. “To anyone I’ve offended, I just want to say, I reinvented electric cars, and I’m sending people to Mars on a rocket ship — Did you think I was also going to be a chill, normal dude?”

He brought up how people were often “reduced to the dumbest thing they ever did,” which, for him, was smoking weed on Joe Rogan’s podcast.

“And now all I hear all the time is, ‘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 O.J. Simpson to ‘Murderer.’ It happened one time!”

“Fun fact,” Musk continued. “O.J. Also hosted this show in ’79. And again in ’96. Killed both times.”

He also cracked jokes about saying “something truly shocking” on live TV (“I drive a Prius!”), how to pronounce his son’s name (“cat running across keyboard”) — and then, with the show the night before Mother’s Day, brought his own mother, Maye Musk, up on stage.

She’s apparently getting Dogecoin for a Mother’s Day present. When Musk has tweeted about Dogecoin before, it’s led to a price spike, so that may be something to watch.

UPDATE 5/9/21 1:00 am: #Dogecoin was indeed trending on Twitter into the wee hours of Sunday morning, but because it was down about 20 percent for the day. A later Weekend Update bit had Musk — playing the role of “Weekend Update financial expert Lloyd Ostertag” — and co-anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che riffing on how confusing cryptocurrency was to explain, and then finally Musk just shrugging and saying “Yeah, it’s a hustle.”

Watch the video above, via NBC.

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Sarah Rumpf joined Mediaite in 2020 and is a Contributing Editor focusing on politics, law, and the media. A native Floridian, Sarah attended the University of Florida, graduating with a double major in Political Science and German, and earned her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the UF College of Law. Sarah's writing has been featured at National Review, The Daily Beast, Reason, Law & Crime, Independent Journal Review, Texas Monthly, The Capitolist, Breitbart Texas, Townhall, RedState, The Orlando Sentinel, and the Austin-American Statesman, and her political commentary has led to appearances on the BBC, MSNBC, NewsNation, Fox 35 Orlando, Fox 7 Austin, The Young Turks, The Dean Obeidallah Show, and other television, radio, and podcast programs across the globe.