SNL video screenshot by Leslie Katz CNET
Elon Musk might not strike people as a natural comedian, but he gave it a decent shot Saturday when he hosted Saturday Night Live and delivered the traditional opening monologue. After an unusual cold open where Miley Cyrus sang and SNL cast members joked around with their moms for Mother’s Day, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO stepped up to the plate.
Dressed in all black, he told a friendly audience that he’s the first SNL host with Asperger’s syndrome, “or at least the first to admit it.” Dan Aykroyd, who hosted in 2003 long after leaving the cast, also has Asperger’s syndrome.
Asperger’s syndrome, or AS, is one of a group of neurological disorders known as autism spectrum disorders. AS is considered to be on the mild end of the spectrum. As CNET sister site Healthline notes, people with AS often have difficulty with social interaction, engage in repetitive behavior, stand firm in what they think, and focus on rules and routines. Often, those diagnosed with the disorder have normal or above normal intelligence.
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In keeping with the Mother’s Day theme, Musk brought out his mother, model Maye Musk.
“I’m excited for my Mother’s Day gift, I just hope it’s not Dogecoin,” Maye Musk told her son. Elon Musk has prominently joked about Dogecoin, even calling himself “the Dogefather.”
“It is,” he replied.
The billionaire businessman’s monologue didn’t ignore many of the things that made him pop-culture famous outside of his businesses, joking about how he took a puff of marijuana on Joe Rogan’s podcast in 2018. One of his best jokes focused on the unusual name of his son. Musk and musician Grimes named their child X Æ A-12, which Musk joked “is pronounced, ‘cat running across keyboard.'” (Musk really pronounces it X Ash A Twelve, he has said.)
“Look, I know I sometimes say or post strange things, but that’s just how my brain works,” he said. “To anyone I’ve offended, I just want to say, I reinvented electric cars and I’m sending people to Mars in a rocket ship. Did you think I was also going to be a chill, normal dude?”
Musk also joked about past SNL hosts, mentioning NFL star O.J. Simpson, saying “he killed it.” Yeesh, but yes, Simpson did host back in 1978, long before his infamous murder trial.
Musk also touched on his own terrible Twitter instincts, pointing out a tweet where he posted “69 days after 4/20 again haha.”
“I don’t know, I thought it was funny,” he said. “That’s why I wrote ‘haha’ at the end.”