Elon Musk has made his appearance as a guest host on SNL. Topics were fairly free-ranging, going from Dogecoin to rockets to a surprise revelation that he has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome during his opening monologue.
Although the condition formerly known as Asperger’s syndrome has officially been wrapped up into the more broad Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in a 2013 update, it is still frequently referred to in some circles as a more mild form of autism, also known as “high-functioning autism.” Notable people with Asperger’s syndrome include Temple Grandin, a professor at the Colorado State University who is especially noted for her advocacy for people with autism. According to Grandin, many brilliant people like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs are probably on the spectrum.
Elon Musk did refer to some of the best known signs of autism in his monologue: “I’m actually making history tonight as the first person with Asperger’s to host SNL. Or at least the first to admit it. So I won’t make a lot of eye contact with the cast tonight. … Look, I know I sometimes say or post strange things, but that’s just how my brain works.”
Despite anticipation from cryptocurrency insiders, Musk didn’t mention Dogecoin by name during his opening monologue, which sent the price of the meme-inspired cryptocurrency plunging by 22% over the course of the SNL episode. He did mention Dogecoin later, however, when he said that he would be getting his mother Dogecoin for Mother’s Day. According to Forbes, Dogecoin is now 40% below its all-time high. Musk had previously mentioned Dogecoin on a regular basis in his tweets and even jocularly declared himself “CEO of Dogecoin” for a day.
Skits also included a Mario parody in which he played the villain Wario, which SNL had standing trial for murder. His girlfriend, Grimes, put in an appearance as Princess Peach. He also played a doctor in a Gen Z Hospital spoof featuring awkward conversations with friends who the characters hadn’t seen in a while due to pandemic quarantines.
Some SNL cast members had expressed their reluctance to make an appearance due to their dislike of Elon Musk, who often comes off as abrasive in his public interactions, including some heated exchanges on Twitter. His tweets have occasionally caused some legal issues for Musk, including costing him his position as Tesla’s Chairman of the Board and an ongoing investor lawsuit alleging that Tesla has failed to retain an attorney who can vet Musk’s tweets before they are posted. Tesla regards Musk’s tweets as official company communications in lieu of its lack of a Public Relations department.
Aidy Bryant followed through and made a subtle dig at Musk on Twitter by posting a screenshot of a critical Bernie Sanders tweet on Instagram. Although SNL officially said that the cast wouldn’t be forced to appear with him, their behavior was interpreted as professional in some quarters. Some even said that Elon Musk might have a surprising amount of talent at comedy himself: