Elon Musk appeared a little stiff in a dark, double-breasted jacket on “Saturday Night Live” as he was greeted with uncertain applause, but he delivered solid material and seemed to win over his live audience.
The controversial billionaire’s hosting duties set off social media throughout the week, with many weighing Musk’s worthiness, while NBC responded to the interest by livestreaming “SNL” online for the first time.
During his monologue Musk was self-aware, even if that was a result of a talented writing staff.
“I don’t always have a lot of intonation or variation in how I speak,” he said, “which I’m told makes for great comedy.”
He admitted he’s socially awkward and said he was the first person with Asperger syndrome to host the show — “or at least the first to admit it.”
“I know I sometimes say or post strange things but that’s just how my brain works,” Musk, 49, said. “I reinvented electric cars and I’m sending people to Mars on a rocket ship. Did you think I was also going to be a chill, normal dude?”
The tech titan suggested he’s fallen victim to a phenomenon in which people are reduced the dumbest thing they ever did.
“Like I go from podcast to podcast lighting up joints,” Musk said, referring to his 2018 joint-smoking session on Joe Rogan’s podcast. “It happened once. It’s like reducing O.J. Simpson to murderer. That was one time.”
Musk said Simpson hosted “Saturday Night Live” twice. “Killed both times,” he said.
His mother, Maye Musk, appeared as part of the show’s pre-celebration of Mother’s Day.
“I’m excited for my Mother’s Day gift,” she said, before mentioning a form of cryptocurrency hyped by her son. “I just hope it’s not Dogecoin.”
“It is,” said Musk, a big investor in the cryptocurrency.
Earlier in the week online sportsbook MyBookie revealed odds for whether or not Musk would mention Dogecoin. The sportsbook found also unfavorable odds for Dogecoin gaining in value during Musk’s “SNL” appearance.
On “Weekend Update” Musk told co-host Michael Che that his nickname is “the Dogefather.”
Dogecoin tracker Darren Rovell tweeted that the cryptocurrency had, at one point, lost $30 billion in value during the show.
It’s not clear what impact that would have on Musk’s personal fortunes. Earlier this year Musk, CEO of Tesla and rocket maker SpaceX and founder of tunnel-construction company Boring, was determined to be the world’s richest man.
Though he’s been a cheerleader for cryptocurrency, on Thursday Musk tweeted, “Cryptocurrency is promising, but please invest with caution!”
“Weekend Update” kicked off with a Musk joke.
“A space rocket that was spinning out of control just minutes ago crashed into the ocean,” said co-host Colin Jost. “For once we know it’s not Elon’s fault.”
Musk, who appeared on every sketch on “SNL,” also appeared on “Weekend Update” to portray Lloyd Ostertag, a fictional cryptocurrency expert who’s asked repeatedly to explain Dogecoin.
“It actually started as a joke based on an internet meme but now it’s taken over in a very real way,” he said. “It’s the future of currency.”
Asked again by Che, he said, “I keep telling you, it’s a cryptocurrency you can trade for conventional money.”
“Oh,” Che said. “So it’s a hustle.”
“Yeah,” Musk said, “it’s a hustle.”