This quirky tradition continues on Saturday when Elon Musk, the eccentric tech billionaire, hosts the show. Miley Cyrus will join him as a musical guest.
Musk is a surprising choice for the show given that “SNL” isn’t known for picking hosts from the tech or business world, typically glued to celebrities and comedians. Having one of the richest people on the planet on the show – and controversial too – raised a few eyebrows.
But, according to James Andrew Miller, author of “Live From New York, the Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live,” appearance makes sense because “SNL” is not so much an entertainment show as it is a cultural one.
And musk, for better or for worse, is definitely a part of our culture.
Miller added that this is one of the reasons the show has remained relevant over the years.
That’s why Musk’s pick makes sense from an audience perspective: his pick gets people talking, and it certainly has since Musk was announced as host a few weeks ago. Musk could attract viewers who typically don’t watch the show.
“It gives people the ability to see someone who is very in the public eye, and a big hit on the cultural, financial, and technological radars, and to see them in a different way,” Miller said.
Musk’s selection has been a bit bumpy for “SNL” given how he has courted controversy in the past. For example, Musk downplayed the risks of Covid-19 in an interview with The New York Times in September, saying he would not take a Covid vaccine.
Musk’s comments via his Twitter account have also put him in hot water in the past. Then there was the moment he smoked weed and drew a samurai sword on Joe Rogan’s podcast in 2018 – a move that shocked shareholders and caused the departure of two top executives.
So the unpredictable personality of the CEO, as well as the very lively nature of “SNL”, could go a number of ways. He even hinted at his “wild card” personality during a promo for the show, promising to be “good-ish” since it’s the Mother’s Day show.
After Musk was announced as the host, some of the “SNL” cast members like Bowen Yang and Andrew Dismuke took to Instagram to express their displeasure. In contrast, Pete Davidson expressed his interest in Musk.
“I’m really excited, man. I’m going to ask him, like, a Tesla or shit, ”Davidson told Seth Meyers on“ Late Night with Seth Meyers ”this week. “I don’t know why people are panicking. They say, ‘Oh, I can’t believe Elon Musk is organizing!’ And I’m like, ‘The guy who makes the earth a little better, does cool things and sends people to Mars?’ ”
Miller pointed out that some people “will be fascinated by it”, and some “will be disgusted by it”. It’s probably great with longtime executive producer Lorne Michaels.
“From the very beginning, Lorne has made a point of not giving in. He doesn’t wet his finger, hold it up, and try to guess what people want, ”Miller said. “The show is not afraid of controversy. “
So will Musk be a good host? He is no stranger to being in front of the camera. He has had cameos in movies like Marvel’s “Iron Man 2”, TV shows like “The Simpsons”, and has been in several episodes of “South Park”.
Tune in on Saturday night to see if that translates to “SNL.”