The Tesla founder hosted SNL in a much-hyped episode streamed to more than 100 countries worldwide.
Much of the anticipation was centered on what impact his appearance would have on Dogecoin, which has soared in value since Musk began promoting it on social media at the start of 2021.
In a skit for the Weekend Update segment, Musk played the role of ‘Financial Expert Lloyd Ostertag’.
In the skit, Michael Che repeatedly asks Musk’s character ‘what is dogecoin’.
‘They’re a type of digital money but instead of being controlled by a central Government, they’re decentralized using blockchain technology,’ he explains, letting out a nervous giggle.
‘And lately prices have been soaring for cryptos like Bitcoin, Ethereum and especially Dogecoin.
‘It actually started as a joke based on an internet meme, but no it’s taken off in a very real way.’
Weekend Update host Michal Che attempted to learn about cryptocurrency from Elon Musk’s character, ‘financial expert Lloyd Ostertag’, by repeatedly asking: ‘what is Dogecoin’
All eyes were on what effect Musk’s appearance would have on Dogecoin, with its price falling by 22% while the show was airing before recovering to 55 cents on Sunday afternoon
Musk poked fun at his own eccentricities and revealed that he has ‘Asperger’s’ during his monologue on Saturday Night Live
Che then repeats his question: Yeah, but what is Dogecoin?’
The pair riff bank-and-forth like this for several more cycles, as ‘Ostertag’ appears to get more exasperated with each answer.
Che’s Weekend Update co-host Colin Jost gets in on the gag, also asking Musk’s character: ‘What is dogecoin?’
‘I keep telling you, it’s a cryptocurrency you can trade for conventional money.’
‘Oh, so it’s a hustle,’ Che finally says.
‘Yeah, it’s a hustle,’ ‘Ostertag’ replies.
Breaking character, Musk then laughs and shouts ‘to the moon!!’ in the rallying cry for Dogecoin boosters.
The value of Dogecoin dropped by 22% while the show was airing from 66 cents to 51 cents.
It fell further early Sunday to as low as 43 cents before recovering to 55 cents by 3pm.
Dogecoin started as a joke in 2013 between two engineers, but gained popularity quickly.
It was valued at less than 1 cent at the start of the year, but gained more than 12,000% to 69 cents last week.
As Musk became an online cheerleader for Dogecoin, his SNL drove a speculative frenzy for the joke crypto.
Musk, a controversial choice to host SNL, revealed at the start of his opening monologue that he has Asperger’s.
‘I’m actually making history tonight as the first person with Asperger’s to host SNL. Or at least the first to admit it. So I won’t make a lot of eye contact with the cast tonight,’ Musk said in his monologue.
Asperger syndrome is an autism-spectrum disorder characterized by difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication.
Musk shared his vision that humanity ‘must become a multiplanetary spacefaring civilization’ before going on to joke about his eccentric nature and frequently bizarre Twitter posts.
‘Look I know I sometimes say or post strange things, but that’s just how my brain works,’ said Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX.
‘To anyone I’ve offended, I just want to say: I reinvented electric cars and I’m sending humans to Mars on a rocket ship. Did you also think I was going to be a chill, normal dude?’ he joked.
‘A lot of times, people are reduced to the dumbest thing they ever did,’ he continued. ‘Like one time, I smoked weed on Joe Rogan’s podcast. And now all the time I hear “Elon Musk, all he does is smoke weed on podcasts.”‘
‘It happened once! It’s like reducing OJ Simpson to murderer! That was one time,’ Musk joked.
Musk went on to poke fun at the name he and his girlfriend, the musician Grimes, selected for their young son, displaying it on the screen: X Æ A-Xii.
‘It’s pronounced, cat running across keyboard,’ he joked.
In his monologue, Musk himself did not mention by name the joke cryptocurrency Dogecoin by name, but his mother pleaded with him not to buy it as a Mother’s Day gift
Musk appears alongside Kenan Thompson in a western-themed sketch for Saturday’s episode
In another sketch, he appeared as doctor at ‘Gen Z Hospital’, delivering bad news in youthful slang to a group of teens
Musk’s girlfriend, the musician Grimes, appeared as Princess Peach in the Wario trial sketch, thrilling her fans
Musk portrayed Wario (center) in one sketch, with the Nintendo character facing a murder charge in court
Musk went on to appear in numerous sketches on the show, and clearly appeared to be having fun.
In one sketch, he appeared as doctor at ‘Gen Z Hospital’, delivering bad news in youthful slang to a group of teens worried about their friend.
Another sketch was titled ‘Every conversation with people you haven’t seen since quarantine started,’ and featured nervous conversations at a house party.
‘Really good’ says Musk’s character when asked about how his wife is doing. ‘We’ve been working from home so we’re really productive and we get to see each other more.’
In a voiceover, Musk is heard thinking: ‘We’re getting divorced, and I’m losing my job.’
In his monologue, Musk himself did not mention the joke cryptocurrency Dogecoin by name, sending the price of the volatile asset plunging dramatically as he spoke.
His mother Maye, who made a guest appearance for Mother’s Day, did say she hoped that his gift would not be Dogecoin, to which he replied: ‘It is!’
In another sketch, Musk portrayed a producer named Ragnarok on a bizarre Icelandic talk show, on which he proclaimed his love for the host Ooli.
During the Weekend Update segment, the first joke took aim at Musk, with Colin Jost noting that a Chinese rocket booster had crashed into the Indian Ocean just an hour before the show aired live from New York.
‘For once we know it’s not Elon’s fault. A lot of people have been wondering, why is he hosting our show and now we know, it’s because he needed an alibi,’ joked Jost.
The decision to tap the Tesla CEO and ‘Technoking’ to host the NBC sketch comedy show was seen as a risky gambit by creator Lorne Michaels to boost ratings and expand audience.
For the first time in SNL’s 46-year history, the episode featuring Musk aired live internationally on YouTube in more than 100 countries. The stream was not available to U.S. viewers.
‘SNL is a global phenomenon and this livestream marks the first time audiences around the world will experience the show simultaneously along with the US,’ Frances Berwick, chairman of NBCU’s entertainment networks, said in a statement.
‘It’s incredibly exciting to create this worldwide event with host Elon Musk and musical guest Miley Cyrus,’ he added.
Saturday’s episode of the show quickly became one of the most hotly-anticipated of all time, due to the decision to cast the controversial Tesla boss as host for the evening.
The decision drew an instant backlash from its long-running cast members when it surfaced last month, with many making digs at Musk on social media.
Even hours before the live show, tensions were still simmering with sources saying some cast members ‘are getting a little too big for their britches.’
Musk’s girlfriend Grimes also hinted she will be joining him and Miley in an Instagram post where she told fans: ‘Tune into SNL tonight and watch me try acting’.
Grimes did appear as Princess Peach for the Mario Trial.
After the show, Miley Cyrus, Muck and Grimes partied at the PUBLIC hotel in New York’s Lower East Side.