Despite the fact that even SNL’s cast members were reportedly unhappy about Elon Musk hosting the show, the tech mogul’s presence on the fan-favorite late-night sketch series ended up making his episode a ratings hit. In fact, Elon Musk helped the show earn its third-highest ratings of this season.
Variety reports that the May 8th episode of Saturday Night Live generated a 4.8 Nielsen average in overnight markets, ranking it just a bit behind Dave Chappelle’s episode on November 7th and Chris Rock’s on October 3rd. That may be due to the reveals that came with the hosting gig. During his appearance on this most recent SNL episode, Elon Musk dropped two bombshells. The first was that he has Asperger’s Syndrome. The second was that he supposedly thinks Dogecoin is a “hustle.” I say “supposedly” because not even 24 hours later he announced that SpaceX would be accepting Dogecoin as payment for one of its upcoming missions. Even more impressive, though, was the fact that his episode even marked the first time that SNL was live-streamed on YouTube in over 100 countries. That is huge.
But it is not surprising at all. In addition to being a popular presence on social media, Elon Musk is one of the richest people on the planet. Not only is he the CEO of Tesla, Inc., but he is also the founder and CEO of aerospace manufacturer SpaceX. Additionally, he is also the co-founder of neurotechnology company Neuralink and founder of tunnel construction company The Boring Company. So yeah, the guy has absolutely made a name for himself in many different industries and trades. It stands to reason, then, that he would want to dip his toes into the pop culture world. He may not stick around for long, but the success of his first time hosting the legendary comedy show may encourage network executives to book him for other TV appearances.
It is interesting that Elon Musk proved so popular among SNL viewers. He is not exactly a pop-culture staple, and his appearance received plenty of pushback and negative press prior to its airing. But obviously, that did not discourage or dissuade SNL fans from tuning in and driving those all-important ratings up. These numbers may surprise those who were counting on him not resonating with viewers at all, but as it turns out, he seemed to have made some pretty big waves, particularly in the autism community.
Still, despite Elon Musk’s apparent success as an SNL host, there are some who were not impressed with his performance. TheWrap, for example, went as far as to say that Musk was the worst SNL host ever. That is honestly a tad harsh–and hard to prove.
As the current season of SNL nears its end, fans have quite a bit to which they can look forward. The 46th season of SNL will conclude on May 22, which will see Anya Taylor-Joy hosting and Lil Nas X appearing as the finale’s musical guest. Before that, though, on May 15, SNL will pair host Keegan-Michael Key with musical guest Olivia Rodrigo.