Elon Musk earns mixed reviews as first-time 'SNL' host: 'More like Elon Bust'

Maye Musk and Elon Musk on the 2021 Mother's Day episode of 'Saturday Night Live' (Photo: NBC/Twitter)
Maye Musk and Elon Musk on the 2021 Mother's Day episode of Saturday Night Live. (Photo: NBC/Twitter)

Heading into the Elon Musk-hosted episode of Saturday Night Live, some Not Ready for Primetime Players suggested they weren't onboard with opening Studio 8H up to the controversial tech entrepreneur. In the end, though, the majority of the cast — including breakout star Bowen Yang, who took a social media swipe at Musk — opted to share the stage with Lorne Michaels's controversial choice of host. (One performer that did sit the episode out was Aidy Bryant, who also shaded Musk on Twitter; the Shrill star showed up for Miley Cyrus's cold open Mother's Day concert, but didn't appear in any sketches.)

As for Musk, he stuck by his pre-show promise to behave himself... maybe because his mother was in the house. Maye Musk joined her son onstage for his monologue, during which he revealed for the first time that he has Asperger syndrome, a developmental disorder that places him on the autism spectrum. She also smiled when he dropped an inevitable "Dogecoin" reference — a topic he later expanded on during Weekend Update, trying to explain the concept of cryptocurrency to Michael Che and Colin Jost. He even shouted out the "Dogecoin to the moon" meme, thrilling his fanbase on Twitter.

Here's something that Twitter wasn't expecting though — the cryptocurrency's stock took a steep nosedive after Musk's mention.

Besides tracking Dogecoin's plunge, Twitter also performed a live fact check on Musk's monologue claim that he was the first person with Asperger's to host SNL. As many noted, founding SNL cast member Dan Aykroyd was diagnosed with Asperger's in the 1980s, and hosted the show again in 2003.

Overall, the online reaction to Musk's SNL appearance was mixed, although the writing didn't exactly do him any favors. Many critics called out sub-par sketches like "Gen-Z Hospital," where Musk played a doctor who only communicates in Gen-Z speak. (For the record, this was the only time Musk and Yang were in a sketch together.)

On the other hand, Musk did win praise for his spirited portrayal of beloved Nintendo bad guy, Wario, during a Mario Kart-themed courtroom sketch. And his girlfriend, Grimes, joined in the fun as Princess Peach, which probably helped him play with power.

He may not have taken SNL to the moon, but maybe Musk can launch Bowsercoin as the natural follow-up to Dogecoin.

Saturday Night Live airs Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. on NBC.

Videos courtesy of NBCUniversal and SNL. For more, check out NBC.com.

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