Every week, Saturday Night Live has a new host. The host does the monologue and appears in many of the skits. Typically, these hosts are well-known actors, though SNL is not a stranger to surprising us with celebrities from other industries. In a surprise move, the show announced their host for May 8, 2021: Elon Musk. He’ll be joined by musical guest, Miley Cyrus. This announcement came by way of the show’s social media, which they posted with a caption consisting of rocket emojis.
Elon Musk is the Technoking of Tesla Motors and CEO of SpaceX. He has been called “tech’s greatest entertainer”. He is not shy about getting in front of the camera and making grand pronouncements. For example, he’s on a mission to get SpaceX to Mars. As part of that mission, he is building prototypes for spaceships and making deals with NASA. He isn’t shy about setting impossible goals on impossible deadlines. He seems like someone who isn’t afraid of anything. While he seems so comfortable making big announcements to the public, he actually isn’t comfortable with public speaking. It’s something critics have hounded him about in the past. It sounds like hosting Saturday Night Live is a curious choice then, doesn’t it?
However, Elon Musk’s plan to colonize Mars seems to be the driving force behind most of his decisions. The companies he runs work together toward realizing this long-term goal. How does hosting Saturday Night Live play into that? In the same way that companies like Starlink ultimately help fund the mission to Mars, building up more attention for Musk himself brings more attention to SpaceX, which brings more attention to his mission to Mars. Gaining favorable public opinion and publicizing the company seems to be an important part of the tech giant’s plans.
Still, what in the world is Elon Musk going to do on Saturday Night Live? Is Elon Musk funny? What inspired the minds behind SNL to bring on such a different choice? The show has had many unexpectedly funny hosts, which is always a treat. They’ve also made their share of odd choices, like Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani, who have both been considered two or the worst hosts. Saturday Night Live has been on the air for 46 seasons now. When the pandemic hit, they weren’t afraid to lean into filming sketches at home. It seems like the show isn’t afraid of taking risks, and Elon Musk isn’t afraid of attention, so forward they march.
The tech giant is, of course, married to a musician. Grimes and Musk faced a world of attention after naming their baby X AE A-Xii. It may be surprising then that Grimes wasn’t the musical guest for Elon Musk’s episode, but Miley Cyrus is a strong choice to balance him out. While the SpaceX CEO is an unknown in this arena, Miley Cyrus is an old hat. She has hosted the show herself and been a musical guest on several occasions.
We’ll be able to see how Elon Musk handles the new challenge in the SNL episode on May 8, 2021.