Elon Musk’s Saturday Night Live gig was much closer to droll and boring than a disaster, but he still got lots of reaction in his appearance on the NBC sketch comedy showcase. Musk was in nearly every sketch on Saturday, skipping only the cold open and starring in a number of different segments that gave him a chance to change the narrative about the billionaire with troubling opinions about science.
Musk took part in a “cringe” sketch about Gen Z Hospital, which drew some criticism that the use of AAVE language was simply defined as a younger generation just being odd. But the big reaction of the night (beyond Dogecoin crashing) was a Mario Kart-based sketch about Mario’s murder.
Grimes making her acting debut was notable, sure, but the large reaction to the sketch was meme-enthusiast Musk taking on the role of Wario, a frequent gaming meme of his own.
— Thomas Aman (@itsthomasaman) May 9, 2021
The sketch frames Wario as the murderer of Mario while cart racing, using a shell to take him out. Wario goes on trial, but his lawyer argues discrimination against him because of his heritage and reveals a love affair between Princess Peach and Luigi, Mario’s brother. There’s also Kate McKinnon as Waluigi.
Conceptually, it was another Nintendo-themed sketch idea from the show in Season 46. And there was considerable attention to detail, including a badge behind the judge that says the trial was taking place in Toad Town. There were a lot of reactions to the sketch, which mostly were about how odd it was that Musk dressed up as Wario for a bit that was ultimately about Italian discrimination and included Pete Davidson as Andrew Cuomo.
— ShakaDiddy (@ShakaDiddy) May 9, 2021
it's-a me wario i like-a tha child labor wahahah pic.twitter.com/9gxTCzrJlG
— blot (@markerblot) May 9, 2021
In some ways, Musk as Wario became a meme of its own. The character was trending all day on Sunday as people reacted to the sketch, including on the show’s Twitter account.
This might be the only time in my life where I hope Nintendo actively tries to sue someone. https://t.co/BESHFe4Ray
— Ultima | #вʟм (@UltimaShadowX) May 9, 2021
The world's richest man is on national television dressed as Wario after having compared the value of a joke cryptocurrency to the global reserve currency only seconds before.
The memes are the message.
— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) May 9, 2021
If Elon Musk can roll out in a Wario getup, then Italian Elon Musk is fair game. pic.twitter.com/54q4rZmpMk
— R. S. Blackrose (@RSBlackrose) May 9, 2021
mfw i lose $50,000 to fucking wario pic.twitter.com/BQK9j9x7Nk
— Sam Gordon (@notSamGordon) May 9, 2021
— Mariana (@Marispiva) May 9, 2021
There goes all my Doge coin. Thanks Wario #SNL
*Actual image from SNL pic.twitter.com/YBRcIyyLWL
— Pan-Pizza: Finish the dang Comic (@RebelTaxi) May 9, 2021
Musk later called the sketch “my fav” on Twitter, though there were some that argued Wario should not be Italian at all.
Mario is Italian, but Wario is the negation of everything Mario; so it follows that Wario is not Italian
— Chris Wade (@saywhatagain) May 9, 2021
In any event, if you want to see Musk dance to a Wario theme song, you can watch the full sketch above.