NBC has confirmed that billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk will host SNL on May 8, adding another feather to his crowded cap.
Musk, the second richest man in the world, has a cult following among tech aficionados, has previously appeared on entertainment shows. In 2018, he appeared on the uber-popular Joe Rogan podcast, where he smoked weed on camera, driving Tesla shares to fall the very next day.
He also appeared in Iron Man 2 and guest starred as himself on an episode of The Simpsons. The Big Theory also featured an episode in which Musk starred again as himself.
Miley Cyrus will be the musical guest on the same episode of SNL.
SNL is among one of the oldest running shows on American television, with its catchphrase “Live from New York” now among the most legendary tag lines of the small screen. The show was the launch pad for many a famous comedians, including Eddie Murphy, Gilda Radner, John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd, Robert Downey Jr, Steve Martin, Billy Crystal, Chris Farley, Adam Sanders, Mike Myers, George Carlin and Richard Pryor. In recent years the show became the focus of Donald Trump’s ire for Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of the former US President.
SNL guests are usually considered on the basis of how witty they can be, and while Musk is popular among his followers on twitter, the CEO of Tesla Inc and SpaceX might not have the conventional funny bones needed for fronting a SNL episode.
Critics have taken to social media and news outlets to express their dislike of the invitation from SNL, citing Musk’s exceedingly eccentric behavior, including a tweet that said, “the coronavirus panic is dumb”. In March 2020, he predicted on twitter that the number of new cases of the novel coronavirus in April will be “close to zero”.
In May 2020, Musk reopened his California Tesla manufacturing plant, defying orders from the state. Between then and December 2020, more than 400 Tesla employees tested positive for the virus.