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Watch Elon Musk’s awkward ‘SNL’ promos — plus, why his hosting stint is so controversial

Last Thursday night, NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” released two 15-second promos (see below) for the weekend’s episode, which is set to be hosted by billionaire Tesla Inc. and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, with Miley Cyrus as the musical guest.

In the first promo, Musk, flanked by Cyrus and “SNL” cast member Cecily Strong, says, “Hi, I’m Elon Musk, and I’m hosting ‘SNL’ this week with musical guest Miley Cyrus. And I’m a wild card, so there’s no telling what I might do.” Cyrus chimes: “Same here. Rules? No thanks” — prompting Strong to say, “But it’s also the Mother’s Day show, so your moms are going to be here.” Cyrus course-corrects — “Forget what I said” — and Musk says, “Fine. We’ll be good. Ish.”

In the second promo, which has the same set-up, Musk delivers the same first line and then Cyrus says, “What’s new with you, Elon?” He responds, “I just did a successful rocket launch this week.” Strong says, “Wow! Well, I did my laundry” — prompting a cheery “Congrats!” from Musk, and then a confession from Strong: “Actually, no, I didn’t.”

When Musk’s unexpected guest-hosting gig was first announced in late April, some cast members balked — and then backtracked. See “‘SNL’ Cast Members Bowen Yang, Aidy Bryant Delete Posts Swiping at Upcoming Host Elon Musk,” from The Wrap.

As The Wrap’s Jeremy Fuster writes,

Musk has become a polarizing figure on social media. He has earned fans for his tech ideas and eccentric appearances on podcasts like “The Joe Rogan Experience.” On the flip side, he’s been slammed on Twitter for spreading COVID-19 misinformation during the early days of the pandemic, his rants against media outlets that have run investigative articles against Tesla, and a threat on Twitter to revoke stock options from his employees if they moved to unionize (he was forced to take the tweet down by the National Labor Relations Board).

Of course, there’s been backlash to the backlash about Musk’s “SNL” gig. See “Pete Davidson doesn’t understand ‘why people are freaking out’ about Elon Musk hosting SNL,” per Entertainment Weekly

Keep in mind, though, that all this controversy and chatter is not only good marketing for “SNL,” it’s actually par for the course for the iconic comedy sketch show. The Washington Post points that out here: “Some SNL cast members aren’t happy about Elon Musk. He’s part of a long tradition of disliked hosts.”

P.S. One more weird wrinkle in this saga: “Dogecoin Is Surging Again Because Elon Musk Is Going on SNL, and It’s Glorious” (subhead: “The bong-ripping frat of the crypto world is having its moment”), per Slate.

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