Saturday Night Live: Elon Musk / Miley Cyrus
May 9, 2021 2:30 AM - Season 46, Episode 18 - Subscribe

This fuckin' guy.

  • Cold Open - "Light of the Clear Blue Morning" (Dolly Parton cover): Miley Cyrus, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, Mikey Day, Chris Redd, Aidy Bryant, Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villaseñor, Chloe Fineman, Bowen Yang, Ego Nwodim, Pete Davidson, Punkie Johnson, Colin Jost, Cecily Strong, Lauren Holt, and their moms.
  • Monologue: Elon Musk
  • Gen Z Hospital: Kate McKinnon, Bowen Yang, Melissa Villaseñor, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, Ego Nwodim, Elon Musk, Andrew Dismukes
  • Every Conversation after Quarantine: Beck Bennett, Kate McKinnon, Chris Redd, Ego Nwodim, Heidi Gardner, Elon Musk
  • The Ooli Show: Mikey Day, Chloe Fineman, Beck Bennett, Lauren Holt, Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson, Melissa Villaseñor
  • Murdur Durdur: Alex Moffatt, Kate McKinnon, Bowen Yang, Andrew Dismukes, Heidi Gardner, Beck Bennett, Chloe Fineman, Elon Musk
  • Miley Cyrus & Kid LAROI - Without You
  • Weekend Update: Colin Jost, Michael Che
    • Pauline: Ego Nwodim
    • Lloyd Ostertag: Elon Musk
    • Baby Yoda: Kyle Mooney
  • Mario Trial: Kyle Mooney, Heidi Gardner, Mikey Day, Elon Musk, Cecily Strong, Kate McKinnon, Chloe Fineman, Pete Davidson, Kenan Thompson
  • Chad on Mars: Elon Musk, Melissa Villaseñor, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, Mikey Day, Pete Davidson, Miley Cyrus
  • Miley Cyrus - Plastic Hearts
  • Earl: Kenan Thompson, Elon Musk, Alex Moffatt, Beck Bennett, Cecily Strong, Kyle Mooney
posted by rhizome (33 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Musk was surprisingly good. Much better than I expected, anyway.

The open was sweet.
After that, things got rocky. GenZ Hospital was...okay-ish. A skit built around a thin stereotype, I guess? Every Conversation... had some thinly funny moments, but it felt like it went too long.

Then things tanked hard. The Ooli Show and Murder Durder were simply terrible, flogging away at single-note stereotypes again. Both skits got tiresome and actually insulting really quick. And what was with the unnecessary dig at Biden at the very end of Murder Durder?

Miley and Kid LAROI were good, though I think it would have been much better without Kid LAROI. Never heard of him before, and wasn’t impressed. He was just meh.

WU was uneven, but still better than the earlier skits, at least until Baby Yoda came on. That was fucking horrible. I just couldn’t anymore with the show and bailed.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:52 AM on May 9, 2021

Contrasting the very sweet open, Chad on Mars was dark, verging on morbid. I laughed at the punch tho..
posted by sammyo at 6:31 AM on May 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

Fewer characters named "Elon Musk" than I was expecting (although if you add in the characters who may as well have been named "Elon Musk" it's about what I expected). More jokes about dating your cousin than I was expecting.
posted by ckape at 6:33 AM on May 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

I'm wondering if some of the writers deliberately wrote crappy stuff in protest.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:37 AM on May 9, 2021 [3 favorites]

Elon Musk was truly dreadful at comedic acting - the only time he was funny was when they leaned into that, like in the monologue. In the pre-recorded Chad they got a decent performance from him using really short cuts of brief dialogue (almost Chadlike), and who knows how many takes.

Durder Murder was funny as a Swedish Chef does Clarice send-up of Mare of Easttown, in the context of recent stories about how hard it was for actors to do an authentic Pennsylvania accent.
posted by cardboard at 8:11 AM on May 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

I thought Elon did really well. Maybe it was just the weirdness of it all, but I laughed a bunch.

The Lucid and ID.4 placements were hilarious. And the fact that doge took a 30% hit during the the Lloyd Ostertag bit was, like, the most 2021 thing that could have happened on this show.
posted by crumbly at 8:33 AM on May 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

The Chad bit was really good. The monologue was excrutiating.

Chalamet would have made a better Kid LAROI.
posted by mochapickle at 8:50 AM on May 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

GenZ was a bad sketch but at least it wasn't also mean spirited like their Millenials on Star Trek sketch from last episode.

The Wario sketch (someone on reddit called it Mario Kourt) was terrible in a fun way. When part of your sketch involves reading directly from WarioWiki and still makes it to air, you know that everyone has given up this week.
posted by Gary at 9:41 AM on May 9, 2021 [5 favorites]

This was a strong image rehabilitation for Musk, feels like he got a ton of coaching and he really dialed it down.

Really brief Bjork impression by Villaseñor, but nailed it.

I was amused by Murdur Durdur.
posted by porpoise at 11:53 AM on May 9, 2021

Two cousin fucking jokes. Back to back. Weird.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 1:43 PM on May 9, 2021

@essexjan, that Guardian review is amazing. Thanks for the link!
posted by Mogur at 1:59 PM on May 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

Elon thanked Grimes at the end (and she was maybe on stage?) Was she in the show at all?
posted by Horselover Fat at 2:30 PM on May 9, 2021

Elon Musk is going to run for fucking president, isnt he?
posted by lesbiassparrow at 3:07 PM on May 9, 2021

He's from South Africa, fortunately.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 3:27 PM on May 9, 2021 [14 favorites]

Elon thanked Grimes at the end (and she was maybe on stage?) Was she in the show at all?

Grimes was Princess Peach in the Mario Court sketch.
posted by bassooner at 3:27 PM on May 9, 2021 [3 favorites]

I think that was my favorite Chad sketch ever, and it seemed like the perfect way to kill him off (although spouse reminded me that the skit was set in the future).

I still can't believe that OJ Simpson murder jokes are acceptable and laughed at.
posted by mefireader at 4:37 PM on May 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

I have to compliment the Wario sketch for using his actual stage theme from his debut game, 1992’s Super Mario Land 2. It’s a funnier song for the purpose of the sketch than his actual theme song these days. It’s been remixed lots over the years but here’s my favorite version.

Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix - “Starring Wario!”
posted by Servo5678 at 4:54 PM on May 9, 2021

I think Chad also died in the last sketch he was in
posted by ckape at 8:22 PM on May 9, 2021

Oh he did! The Adele one, right?
posted by mochapickle at 9:16 PM on May 9, 2021

The actual, real Elon Musk was on and no skits with him playing a supervillain? Was it that no-one pitched one or was the theme banned?
posted by fiercekitten at 9:47 PM on May 9, 2021 [5 favorites]

Yeah, just a brutal episode. The SNL cast members' moms were sweet but they too showed that delivering lines off a card is a lot harder than it looks. Musk wasn't as terrible as he could have been, but mostly he just delivered straight lines. The final sketch of him as old west inventor (or something) was just all Musk in-jokes and was brutal. Just like being repeatedly punched.
posted by GuyZero at 12:28 PM on May 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

Also my spouse is a high school teacher and Gen Z hospital hit home for her. Apparently the kids these days do talk like that. Deadass.
posted by GuyZero at 12:29 PM on May 10, 2021

Elon Musk’s SNL Wario Was Weaponized Nothingness
Musk’s appearance on Saturday Night Live was a masterfully orchestrated bit of cultural creation. By being there at all, SNL and Musk both got to benefit from a cultural uproar, which is not all that hard to re-create — identify a high-profile cultural third rail and then announce that two weeks from now, you will be gripping it with both hands. The really impressive part was the show itself. Musk’s SNL capitalized on all that cultural Sturm und Drang by proving SNL’s continued cultural cachet, but the show and Musk’s performance then neutralized all the sharp edges and potential criticisms his appearance had seemed to invite. At every moment when he could have come off as awkward or cruel or inhuman, the show humanized Musk instead. It preempted criticism, flattening legitimate concerns about Musk into small-scale social-media complaints and advertising for Musk’s business interests while also building in a prewritten shrug if they do not work.

The initial goal of Musk’s hosting role on SNL may have been to build more conversation around both Musk and the show, but its real achievement was to take all that conversation and then funnel it into an episode so mild and unremarkable that it felt as though nothing much had even happened. It could have built to a furious backlash for something Musk said or did; it might have alienated some of Musk’s audience or turned Musk agnostics into anti-stans. Instead, SNL cleared the hurdle by giving itself a bar so low it barely cleared sea level, and the only memorable image left over was Musk, scowling in a Wario suit. There’s not that much to say about it, and that is Musk (and SNL’s) chief accomplishment.
Sounds like a bit of a reverse achievement to the 2015 Trump hosting. I guess everyone's sock it to me-ing these days.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:46 PM on May 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

I don't know if it was just my dislike of emerald mine slave labour / Elon, but I got strong Cruella vibes off his mother.

It was a very mediocre episode, but I did enjoy Murdur Durdur.

Chad on Mars was not bad, despite the totally unrealistic FTL communications. /s
posted by Marticus at 3:53 PM on May 10, 2021

Yeah I basically went into this ready to hate it and did not hate it entirely. It was definitely in the lower half of shows this season but far from the worst show of all time. Did not love it but did not hate it. I felt that once Musk was clear what he was working with, they seemed to mostly set him up to just... be weird old Musk in skits that mostly didn't require him to do much but learn lines (he did ok) and wear costumes (same). Could have done without seeing his super weird mom. I'm always a sucker for the mom stuff for whatever reason but I want to know what Moffat's mom deal is (is she terrible? is she dead? is she in a cabin in Montana?). Other comments...

- I love Chloe's energy and that she's found sketches that work for her but I'm hoping to see her in more than stickers-on-arms pop stars and goofy dancing pop star sketches
- Imagine the meeting with Pete being like "No I am NOT shaving this mustache" and them being like "OK I guess he could play... Buscemi?" (Narrator voice: he could not)
- I have a visceral dislike of Kyle's Baby Yoda
- Chad on Mars made me laugh because I enjoy the dumb schtick of Chad and I'm reading Weir's latest.
- I feel like some out-of-touch person every time I see Miley do things because I'm always like "Why isn't she wearing real clothes?" She has a great voice but I find her presence oddly grating and I can't quite put a finger on why.
- I liked the Wario sketch I think because I know just enough to get why it's funny but not so much to know why it's bad.
- I felt like maybe there was some subtext to the cousin jokes?
- Love seeing Ego get more time in with more characters, she is a treasure
- the cast is too big.
posted by jessamyn at 9:30 AM on May 11, 2021 [4 favorites]

Mario Trial was aggressively bad. They should use that to torture people. And since when has Princess Peach an Italian accent ? Just awful.
posted by Pendragon at 11:16 AM on May 11, 2021

And is the only joke in Murdur Durdur "accents are funny" ? And people laugh at this ?

posted by Pendragon at 11:20 AM on May 11, 2021

And is the only joke in Murdur Durdur "accents are funny" ? And people laugh at this ?

Actually, this was a somewhat more sophisticated take. The skit included "reviews" by national media who were like, "So authentic...I guess!" E.g., it was targeting the production of heavily but questionably regionalized material for a national audience.

Also, they were walking through the woods at night looking for the murderer and instead stumbled across Gritty, which was a nice surreal touch.
posted by praemunire at 12:47 PM on May 11, 2021 [3 favorites]

As someone who likes regionalisms and gritty female detectives, am I right in thinking they dropped the ball on both counts and it wasn't even a good Western PA approximation? Maybe it's just a rehash of "The Californians."

I'm convinced that because nothing new is possible anymore, Miley is going to take her Brenda Lee impression as far as it'll go, and I'm now going to spend effort predicting which proven-archetype she'll hop to after that.
posted by rhizome at 12:49 PM on May 11, 2021

It was a mediocre episode, but I really loved the Chad in space sketch, and the thing in WU when they just kept asking Musk "yes but what are NFTs?"
posted by joannemerriam at 1:54 PM on May 19, 2021

This episode won the Emmy for Outstanding Contemporary Makeup for a Variety, Nonfiction, Or Reality Program (Non-Prosthetic). I guess people thought it was a really nice Wario moustache?
posted by Gary at 11:07 AM on September 13, 2021 [2 favorites]

You can buy anything in the US.
posted by rhizome at 2:31 PM on September 13, 2021

« Older Movie: Red Cliff...   |  Book: Project Hail Mary... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments