Elon Musk’s SNL hosting gig started with an unusual cold open celebrating the mothers of the show’s cast. And he continued that trend during the monologue by bringing his own mother on stage to talk about Dogecoin.
Musk took center stage in Studio 8H on Saturday for a much-anticipated hosting gig for the Tesla and SpaceX billionaire. But unlike many episodes with non-actors hosting, the monologue didn’t rely on music or bits to fill time, even if a person in a spacesuit could be seen before the crowd even stopped cheering. Instead, Musk gave a joke-filled opening five minutes, addressing his past controversial comments, weird tweets and admitting that he’s on the autism spectrum.
“Sometimes after I say something I have to say “I mean that,” he said. “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.”
Musk described himself as “the first person with Aspergers to host SNL. Or at least the first to admit it.” But as many online mentioned, that declaration isn’t quite accurate. Former cast member and host Dan Aykroyd has also admitted he’s on the autism spectrum, so Musk isn’t actually the first despite his revelation here that he’s also on the spectrum.
Musk also went through some tweets, such as one that read “69 days after 420 haha.” He chalked it up to his being on the spectrum and admitted “that’s just how my brain works” along with a non-apology.
“To anyone that I’ve 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?”
He also addressed his infamous appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast where he smoked weed and played with a sword. Joking that he doesn’t simply “go from podcast to podcast, lighting up joints” he compared himself to the very famous subject of a murder trial.
“It’s like reducing OJ Simpson to murderer. That was one time,” Musk said, doubling down on the joke later. “Fun fact OJ also hosted the show in ’79. and again in ’96. Killed both times.”
Again, however, that’s not quite right: Simpson hosted just once in 1978. In any event, Musk joked that he could test NBC’s censors and “say something truly shocking. Like I drive a Prius.” He also made fun of his child’s much talked-about name (“It’s pronounced ‘cat running across the keyboard'”).
Later on, he also brought his mom out to talk about the video game he made and sold as a child, part of his famous origin story. She struggled a bit with the timing, but was sure to mention Dogecoin, the first of several mentions of the cryptocurrency on the show.
In all, it wasn’t the best of monologues we’ve seen in Season 46 and served as an uneven introduction to an episode that continued that pace the rest of the night. But it was certainly one of the most talked-about of the year, and Musk showed that he had plenty to say.