Speed Reads


SNL draws criticism for picking Elon Musk as host. That may be the point.

Elon Musk is scheduled to host Saturday Night Live on May 8 alongside musical guest Miley Cyrus, though apparently some SNL fans and even cast members aren't ready to welcome the SpaceX and Tesla CEO with open arms.

"Elon Musk hosting SNL is huge for guys still making 'that's what she said' jokes who think they'd be great at hosting SNL," tweeted comedian Josh Gondelman. "Inspiring: Elon Musk is the first SNL host to directly profit from the apartheid," tweeted comedian Skyler Higley, jokingly referencing 2018 reporting that linked Musk's father to an emerald mine during the mid 1980s.

SNL cast members also reacted negatively. "Only CEO I wanna do sketch with is Cher-E-Oteri," Andrew Dismukes joked on Instagram. Aidy Bryant shared a screenshot of a Bernie Sanders tweet criticizing the fact that the 50 wealthiest people in the U.S., Musk included, own more wealth than some 165 million Americans. Musk has also faced criticism in recent years for allegedly sabotaging unionizing efforts and downplaying the COVID-19 pandemic.

So, why has SNL invited Musk to host? Probably because controversy draws views, The Washington Post argues. SNL has long relied on unusual and polarizing guests and hosts to boost viewership. Former President Donald Trump hosted the show in 2015, when he was a presidential candidate, and drew in more than 9 million views. Three years later Kanye West hosted the show, donning a MAGA hat and giving a pro-Trump speech (which went unaired).

For now, pop star Grimes, Musk's girlfriend, has taken to TikTok to defend her billionaire husband.