SNL cast members are upset about Elon Musk as host, and rightly so

SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk (Photo by Hannibal Hanschke-Pool/Getty Images)
SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk (Photo by Hannibal Hanschke-Pool/Getty Images) /

I think it’s fair to say that we were all confused when Elon Musk was announced as the host of Saturday Night Live‘s next episode on May 8th. For me, “confused” is putting it mildly. I was upset.

I was upset for political reasons, because I believe Musk’s opinions, business ventures, and immense wealth are actively making the world a worse place. I was upset for personal reasons, because I find Musk to be unpleasant and annoying. But I don’t even need to get political or personal to explain why Elon Musk is such a bad choice for host. He’s a bad choice for purely artistic reasons, too.

Musk is not an actor, a comedian, or even an entertainer of any kind. Adele is the only other non-actor to host SNL this season, but she is still a seasoned performer. And even the professional athletes who have hosted SNL in seasons past (JJ Watt, Lebron James, etc.) are used to entertaining millions of people every night in stadiums and on TV.  Elon Musk is just… a business man.

It’s such a shame, because there are so many talented people who could do a terrific job on the Studio 8H stage. There are so many actors, comedians, and singers who have done great work hosting the show, and so many more who have yet to get the chance. Why waste a show on Musk?

Simply put, Elon Musk is a bad choice to host Saturday Night Live. But don’t just take it from me, take it from the cast and crew of SNL themselves.

Saturday Night Live cast and crew criticize Elon Musk as host

Writer Steven Castillo, who is well-known for creating fake SNL host announcements on Twitter, had this to say about the decision.

In other words, Castillo is suggesting this hosting choice is so ridiculous that it sounds more like one of his joke announcements than a real one. (For context, some of his joke host announcements include “Chuck E. Cheese” and “Tinky Winky.”)

Andrew Dismukes, who was hired alongside Castillo as a writer in 2017, and who is now a featured player on the show, also seemed displeased by the hosting decision. He posted a picture of 90s SNL cast member Cheri Oteri to his Instagram story, and wrote “ONLY CEO I WANT TO DO A SKETCH WITH IS Cher-E Oteri.”

Dismukes is clearly making a joke, but he actually makes a pretty good point. Cheri Oteri may not be famous these days, but she would still be a much better host than Musk. By choosing Elon Musk to host, it’s pretty obvious that the SNL producers are perfectly content to put out a bad show as long as it gets them a temporary ratings boost.

Finally, the most notable person to criticize the recent hosting announcement was Bowen Yang. Yang is a rising star, and he has a much bigger social media following than Castillo or Dismukes. Yang was also the most straightforward in his response. In one Instagram story, he just used a frowning face emoji to express his distaste. In a second story, he dropped an f-bomb on musk himself, writing “What the f— does that even mean?” in response to one of Musk’s tweets about hosting the show.

I was very impressed to see these young and relatively new cast and crew members speaking out. Only Yang was truly direct in his criticism, but all of them very clearly undetermined the decision makers who sign their paychecks.

I can only imagine how hard it must be to speak up when you work at a show like Saturday Night Live. By nature of the show, every single person who works there is replaceable, and that must make it difficult for those who want to speak critically about what’s going on behind the scenes. I commend everyone at the show who expressed their opinions about Musk. That includes Yang, Dismukes, and Castillo, as well as people like Aidy Bryant and writer Sudi Green, who subtly undermined the hosting decision by sharing a Bernie Sanders tweet criticizing billionaires. It also goes for all the SNL writers who I saw in my Twitter feed liking anti-Musk posts.

I’m still going to watch the show, because it’s my solemn duty to write the recap for Last Night On. I’m also very curious what the show is going to look like when so many of the people who work on it are unhappy about the host. If you’re planning to watch the episode, I’d love to discuss it with you in the comment section of my recap. And if you’re planning to skip the May 8th show, I completely understand.

Alright, that’s enough from me. I’ll give the final word to SNL writer (and one of the funniest people alive) Dan Licata.

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What do you think of the backlash against Elon Musk as host of Saturday Night Live? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.