Saturday Night Live: Elon Musk & Miley Cyrus

May 8, 2021

BY Vish KhannaPublished May 9, 2021

Elon Musk was not, in fact, the worst-ever host in the history of Saturday Night Live, Grimes turned up in a sketch, and Miley Cyrus came in big and loud on an uneven show. Here's everything that happened on SNL this week.

The cold open

Miley Cyrus appeared extremely early to sing Dolly Parton's "Light of a Clear Blue Morning" for Mother's Day, which led to cast members engaging in micro-skits with their real-life moms. Endearing enough, this went about as well as a large gathering of non-performers reading jokes could go, though the format made it a bit long.

The monologue

Elon Musk appeared and said that he's the first person with Asperger's to ever host SNL, and then espoused his scientific philosophies. He addressed his embattled reputation while boasting about his electric car and space travel accomplishments and made some questionable O.J. Simpson jokes. Musk brought his own mother on-stage to reflect upon his exploits as a precocious child, and then they hugged to end this mostly benign PR stunt.

Gen Z Hospital

Older, outta touch writers and cast members attempted to undercut young people by mocking the things they say, the way they talk, the clothes they wear, and their emotional outlooks on life. Musk played a doctor giving a group of them an update about the state of their bestie, all of which made this some self-congratulatory ageist sketch, with the show satirizing a generation that doesn't give a shit about them at all.

Every Conversation with People You Haven't Seen Since Quarantine Started

In this remote, a party scene featured a bunch of people struggling to remember how to engage in social interactions after quarantine is over. The conceit is that nobody knows how to make interesting conversation about the pandemic or basically anything else really, which was actually rather funny for being so on the nose.

The Ooli Show

The show's tradition of choosing some random European region to mock with goofy accents and costumes continued with Chloe Fineman playing Ooli, the host of an Icelandic TV talk show. Some on twitter had already joked that Musk should take part in a Sprockets sketch and, playing the show's stage director, he did seem to look like someone in the old Mike Myers bit. Otherwise, this was a parade of sub-par impressions, both specific and general.

Murdur Durdur

In this remote, Kate McKinnon played the star of a crime show set in Pennsylvania, where people apparently have very specific accents that makes their diction almost completely indecipherable. This was a parody of HBO's new murder mystery, Mare of Easttown, but only people who have watched it could likely understand whether this was spot-on or wildly wrong. All of the rest of us could think was, "Okay?"

Miley Cyrus

Joined by the Kid Laroi, Miley Cyrus and a band sang "Without You," a folk-pop song that found them each engaged in some screamo over an unlikely soundtrack. Everything on stage signified "grunge" and that aesthetic bled into the performance, which had a very mid-90s, MTV Unplugged scream-crooning vibe.

Returning later for "Plastic Hearts," a more pseudo-big-band number, Cyrus conjured more of an '80s pop sound, like Katrina and Waves or something, which was much stronger than the first performance.

Weekend Update

Colin Jost began with a joke about a rocket ship crashing to Earth and it not being Elon Musk's fault. Similarly, Michael Che made a joke about Jeff Bezos' own space exploits, and warned Black people not to get onto ships helmed by white people.

After some good topical jokes that skewered various American political figures, Ego Nwodim appeared as Pauline, a Weary Mother in Her Darkest Hour, complaining about her negative experience with her good-for-nothing children at Disneyworld now that the park has re-opened. The funny performance took a dark twist involving Che at the end.

Following that, Che got an applause break for making a solid insurrection joke and later welcomed financial expert, Lloyd Ostertag, as played by Elon Musk, who appeared to promote crypto currency. Che and Jost took turns repeatedly asking, "But what is Dogecoin?" which was amusing.

Kyle Mooney reprised his loud, hip-hop-styled Baby Yoda to discuss his thoughts about May the Fourth, which was brainless prop comedy. Very dumb and beneath our sweet, sweet Kyle.

Mario Brothers Trial

This was almost chillingly unfunny and awkward. Wario (Musk) was on trial over the death of his video game brother, Mario. Kyle Mooney played Luigi and Grimes played Princess Peach, who seemed to be at the centre of some kind of lovers' quarrel. Pete Davidson turned up as disgraced NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, and made a statement on behalf of an Italian Defamation organization, which was apparently what this was all really about. Not worth it.

The Astronaut

Pete Davidson's vapid Chad played the titular figure in this remote about Musk's SpaceX program and its missions to Mars. Though Chad valiantly saved the day in this dramatic rendering (featuring Cyrus again too), he inadvertently made the ultimate sacrifice, which was mildly funny.


In an old-timey western, Musk played a cowboy with lots of newfangled ideas about digging underground tunnels, electric horses, and a new kind of currency. By the end of this episode, it felt like most of the bits were vanity sketches for Musk to promote and discuss his various corporate interests, and this one was even the most shameless about that fact.

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