Following Saturday Night Live’s announcement that billionaire Elon Musk would be hosting the May 8 show, pushback came immediately. Due to Musk’s continual controversial statements and actions, many believed that SNL shouldn’t provide him a platform.
Musk isn’t atypical actor or musician to grace the stage of SNL. He doesn’t have anything to promote. And if he was supposed to be promoting cryptocurrency Dogecoin, Musk didn’t do a very good job.
However, Musk’s appearance isn’t an entirely surprising move from SNL. Ratings have continued to decline since Dave Chappelle hosted the show after the presidential election on Nov. 7, 2020, to an audience of 9.1 million. The three previous episodes, hosted by SNL alum Maya Rudolph, pre-Oscar winner Daniel Kaluuya, and Oscar-nominee Carey Mulligan, respectively, have some of the lowest ratings for the entire season.
With the negative and positive hype surrounding Musk and his hosting responsibilities, viewers tuning in is what SNL hoped for. And that is what they got. Saturday’s show was the third-highest rated episode at 4.8, following episodes hosted by Chappelle and Chris Rock earlier in the season.
Musk’s monologue immediately gave the audience a feel of how the show was going to go. Musk revealed he has Asperger’s Syndrome and utilized the general idea of him being “eccentric,” when explaining that he is “pretty good at running ‘human’ in emulation mode.”
Musk also poked fun at his own tweets and his humor. But the best part of the monologue was Musk’s mannerisms: the way he used body language to communicate his amusement and confusion added more humor than the script ever could.
Post-Quarantine Conversation was a great skit because this is a scenario that people will find themselves in at some point, if they haven’t already. Musk’s expressions, his inner monologue and mannerisms helped the scene once again, while Kate McKinnon’s character was super relatable. McKinnon’s character is every person that is trying to go out and socialize, but just really wants to be at home. It’s easy to believe that Beck Bennett’s character probably didn’t really believe in COVID-19 anyways, with the lack of awareness and knowing that his life didn’t change much during quarantine. Chris Redd’s character is just a creep. Also, awkward small talk will always be cringe-worthy, and after this past year, it will no longer be tolerated.
Gen Z Hospital did what it was intended to do. Jokes were made at the expense of the current generation while being cringe most of the time due to the awkward use of African American vernacular English. Both essentially embody what TikTok is today. With that being said, SNL needs to thank Ego Nwodim and Mikey Day for carrying this skit. And Heidi Gardner needs to drop the link for the Joshua Tree tee.
Other great highlights came from jacked-up Baby Yoda, Wario and the Ooli Show.
No stranger to SNL as host or musical guest, Miley Cyrus delivered a show. She performed “Plastic Hearts” from her newest album of the same name.Kid LAROI was joined by Cyrus to perform “Without You” from his album, F*CK LOVE 3*.
Even with these great moments, the reason for the plummeting ratings is obvious. SNL has long, drawn-out skits that need to be shortened or just completely nixed. As much as the Ooli Show was fun and Chloe Fineman’s comedic timing perfect, the skit should have ended a minute sooner than it did. No one would have missed Melissa Villasenor’s Bjork impersonation.
Overall, this was a satisfying episode and Musk exceeded the low expectations that were set. Next week, Keegan-Michael Key will host SNL with Olivia Rodrigo as the musical guest. Then Anya Taylor-Joy will host, with Lil Nas X as the musical guest to bring the 46th season of SNL to a close.