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Online Backlash Percolates Over Elon Musk's 'SNL' Hosting Gig

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Online Backlash Percolates Over Elon Musk's 'SNL' Hosting Gig

The announcement that the self-crowned technoking of Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) will be hosting “Saturday Night Live” has created an online backlash, with two members of the show’s ensemble voicing their disapproval via social media.

'SNL' Cast Members Respond: On Saturday, Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) subsidiary NBC announced that Elon Musk is hosting the May 8 episode of “Saturday Night Live,” with singer Miley Cyrus as the musical guest.

Musk heralded the news on Twitter, declaring: “Let’s find out how live ‘Saturday Night Live’ really is.”

The next day, cast member Bowen Yang posted a photo on Instagram of Musk’s tweet with is reply, “What the f--- does this even mean?”

Another cast member, Aidy Bryant, recognized Musk’s arrival at the show with a retweet from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) that said it was a “moral obscenity” that “the 50 wealthiest people in America today own more wealth than the bottom half of our people.”

Related Link: Elon Musk Complains Of Housing Shortage In Austin

Musk's Guest Host Slot Under Fire: Both Yang and Bryant’s posts were later deleted — it's unclear whether the deletions were voluntary or requested by their “Saturday Night Live” superiors — but the online world was not lacking in criticism of Musk’s upcoming appearance.

CNN.com published an op-ed by writer and comic Dean Obeidallah titled “Elon Musk doesn't deserve to host 'SNL'” that revived controversies from Musk’s online history, including his initial downplaying of COVID-19 by claiming "the coronavirus panic is dumb" and his insensitive comments about the transgender community.

Obeidallah, who worked on “Saturday Night Live” as part of the production staff for eight years, opined the Musk casting came about “because the show wants to remain relevant.”

He also pointed to the show’s so-so ratings, noting how “the most recent live show on April 10, hosted by Oscar-nominated actress Carey Mulligan, garnered only 3.6 million viewers, which has been the average for recent shows.”

On Twitter, the unhappiness was shorter in verbiage but no less bitter. Max Collins, frontman of the band Eve 6, tweeted, “elon musk is incapable of being funny which in and of itself is funny but im sure snl will figure out a way to make it not funny.”

YouTube personality Negaoryx tweeted there were “few things in this world that I want to see less than Elon Musk hosting SNL” while Entertainment Weekly digital news director Jillian Sederholm recommended replacing Musk by having either having Cyrus “do double duty” or recruiting Yuh-Jung Youn, the South Korean actress who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “Minari” as a substitute.

Podcaster Judy Gold tweeted, “You want to know what I find infuriating? The fact that @elonmusk is hosting @nbcsnl and #CarolBurnett has never been asked to host #SNL in the over 45 years they have been on the air.”

Burnett did turn up on “Saturday Night Live” in a 1985 cameo appearance.

Related Link: Tesla Settles Lawsuit With Ex-Employee Over Autopilot Code

Guest Host History At 'SNL': “Saturday Night Live” has mostly reserved the guest hosting role for entertainers, although over the years high-profile athletes and politicians including Jesse Jackson, George McGovern and John McCain were in the spotlight.

Corporate leaders have rarely agreed to hosting duties. New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was greeted with applause and boos when he took the stage in 1990 — he won the tough New York crowd over by joking that he just bought the Cincinnati Reds — and Donald Trump hosted in 2004 during his starring tenure on NBC’s “The Apprentice” and in 2015 when he was seeking the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.

A couple of high-profile executives have made unannounced appearances on the show. NBC President Brandon Tartikoff was an audience target of Don Rickles' jokes during the opening monologue on a 1984 episode, while Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) chieftain Mark Zuckerberg showed up in 2011 during the opening monologue by Jesse Eisenberg, who played him in the film “The Social Network.”

Related Link: NASA Awards Musk's SpaceX $2.9B For Starship Lunar Lander

(Elon Musk photo courtesy of NASA.)

 

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Posted-In: Aidy Bryant Bowen Yang Don Rickles Donald Trump Elon Musk George SteinbrennerNews Media Best of Benzinga

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