“ SNL ” Season 46 Episode 18 Recap: Elon Musk Hosts


Photo: HBO / Will Heath / NBC

Before this week’s show started, Elon Musk had already won. This week alone, his SpaceX spacecraft launched and landed; the value of dogecoin was on the rise; and, thanks to Lorne and the NBC gang, Musk seemed like just another average industry titan hosting SNL. Despite Musk’s story of, say, giving questionable epidemiological advice and confidently trolling his own baby, the gig surely convinced some of the American audience that he was only a percent cheeky for the lulz. Hell, he even solicited sketch ideas on Twitter and floated his own gems like “Woke James Bond.” And despite a tweet about the “how to live” test SNL is really, ultimately Musk just wanted appear dangerous and nasty.

Musk is not a comic book, like his cameos on TV (The Big Bang Theory) and film (Iron man 2) attest. He doesn’t need attention. But like Steve Forbes, George Steinbrenner and Donald Trump before him, Musk took to the 8am stage to tell a few self-deprecating jokes for an ego boost and possible image rehabilitation among those who find his act. of bad boy scion of a little squeaky industry. If you’ve read any of the think tank leading up to Musk’s hosting gig, or understood the cast’s internal disagreements about his arrival, you already know that the context is far more important than the content here. Yes SNL I just wanted people to talk about it, it worked; sussing the notes stuff will have to wait.

As usual, this week’s sketches are featured here ranked from best to worst.

Although there is no sublime stretch during the initial segment of “Update” there are a lot of good individual jokes. Colin Jost’s take on Donald Trump’s new blog and his gag order on evangelicals refusing the vaccine are both good; Michel Che’s joke about white people in space and the one about presidential wax figures also win. Ego Nwodim steps into the role of Pauline, a “tired mother in her darkest hours,” who happens to be immediately following a family vacation to Disneyland. There are a few solid jokes here, for example, Pauline’s personal worth measured against the number of tickets bought for her, but it’s really a subtle character portrayal. Nwodim’s exasperation and exhaustion reward a second watch.

Although this does not get a good response from the audience, Che delivers an incisive joke on potential firing squads in South Carolina; he then wins the crowd again with another smart jab on the Jan.6 insurgency. Jost’s information on Goop and the new attraction at Universal Studios is also worth it. “Update” also contains two other characters, the first being cryptocurrency expert Lloyd Ostertag (Musk), who tries to explain crypto. What looks like a lackluster dogecoin ad at first becomes much more interesting when Ostertag admits that, yes, in the end, dogecoin is ‘a stampede’. Then Baby Yoda (Kyle Mooney) is coming following Star Wars Day to talk about his new MMA career. There was something funny about this character in his first appearance, but the cute-character-is-really-a-spade gag has nothing left to offer after several iterations.

At SpaceX ground control, Elon Musk and his support team examine a dire situation on Mars. Personal sacrifice is required to keep the rest of the Mars crew alive, and the man to make it all happen: the monosyllabic, spiritless Chad (Pete Davidson). While Chad remains his zen self, the writers intelligently take up the stakes of this rhythm of the sketch. The best goes back to the push and pull of a romantic relationship – in this case, with another astronaut played by musical guest Miley Cyrus – and Chad’s delicacy about the possibility of fatherhood. There’s a big surprise waiting at the end, but the fun things depend on what Chad does best: go with the flow and take his pants off every now and then.

This house party shines a light on the awkward, weird and annoying interactions anyone might be aware of after a year of relative isolation induced by a pandemic. In conversation pairs, Beck Bennett, Kate McKinnon, Chris Redd, Ego Nwodim, Heidi Gardner, and Musk try to remember how they know each other, what they’ve done with their time, and how to communicate in general. This one feels fairly true to life, right down to the inner monologues (“Did I just say, ‘I went back to dinner’? Should I give him more details or should I die? ‘) . Some of the lackluster repetitiveness of these conversations seems dull and repetitive, but there are some carefully observed moments here.

After the beloved Bestie returns her Hellcat, her team (Kate McKinnon, Bowen Yang, Heidi Gardner, Ego Nwodim, and Mikey Day) meet in the hospital waiting room to hear from the doctor (Musk ). The whole painful ritual was translated into a combination of AAVE, TikTok commentary, and everyday snippets of slang, for example, bad news from the doctor might be a bit cringe, and things were hanging, no ceiling, but he must give them tea. Regardless of the precision, the big mess of the sketch is pretty fun. While some players, like Gardner, lean on the softness of their characters, others like Yang deliver their lines with a playful dimension that really makes them sing. Here, the stilted nature of Musk’s delivery feeds on what already sounds like a mouthful of words in a foreign language.

In the footsteps of police television and white movies with “very specific accents” like Boston or New York, here’s one for Pennsylvanians and Wawa fans. In this HBO parody Easttown Mare, Kate McKinnon leads the cast of slightly scruffy townspeople who try to solve the “tough” murder of a man. They’re essentially crime-show tropes lined up alongside philly snapshots, delivered in the thickest accents actors can muster. It’s shot beautifully, however, and some of the reviews (“Very accurate. The writers clearly Google searched.”) Add a bit of a fun outside perspective. Looks like, as a whole, it could use a slightly bigger show pool rather than the limited HBO series at the moment.

Musk’s monologue does its best to cover all the bases, noting his obsessions, big plans for humanity, and penchant for tweeting unnerving things. Additionally, Musk confesses that he has Asperger’s – a brave admission, though he’s not the first host to have it, as he claims. (One of the original cast, Dan Aykroyd, has spoken openly about his diagnosis and also moderated it.) The idea that he’s “pretty good at performing ‘Human’ in emulation mode” is what we have warns against awkwardness follow. After visiting his failures on social media, Musk says, “To everyone I’ve offended… I’ve reinvented electric cars and I’m sending people to Mars on a rocket. Did you think that I was also going to be a cold and normal guy? He gets cheers from his fans in the crowd, but his summary has more to do with his silly jokes than things that really hurt people, for example, illegal anti-union sentiments and pandemic misinformation. There’s also an ugly OJ Simpson thread, but then his mom, Maye, shows up to remind us, Hey, he was once a kid too.

This unusual cold opening is a tribute to Mother’s Day: musical guest Miley Cyrus sings a hopeful song, punctuated by jokes from the cast and their moms. Kate McKinnon makes Mary Katherine Gallagher with her mother, Colin Jost warns her mother not to read the mysterious cue cards provided by Michael Che, and Pete Davidson berates his mother for almost missing the show after performing. Madden with Timothée Chalamet. The entire cast is pictured here, minus a few, so the stage is full when it’s time to shout, “Live from New York…” It’s much sweeter than funny, but there are plenty of little ones. cool moments, including Bowen’s mom squirting Purell on the spot, she kisses his cheek, and Kenan Thompson and her mom do some reaction photos together.

When Earl the Bartender (Kyle Mooney) is gunned down by the Pearl River Gang, a bunch of rival guys (Beck Bennett, Alex Moffat, Kenan Thompson) and their bizarre pal Leron (Musk) plot revenge. Leron is in his own world, advocating not only underground sneak attacks, but inventing currency and using rechargeable horses. While the sketch is the one that looks set to roast Musk, he’s more of a resourceful dreamer who is misunderstood in his day. Most aftershocks, including the one in which Leron faces unnecessary mask-wearing resistance, don’t have much bite.

After Mario’s death in a karting accident, Wario (Musk) goes to trial. Wario’s lawyer (Mikey Day) must fend off attacks from Luigi (Kyle Mooney) and Princess Peach (Grimes) while claiming that public perception is based on Italian-American stereotypes. The writing relies heavily on snippets of Nintendo characters and sound effects, and then peppers in some talk about sexting and cocaine. The beat never really clicks. Without a built-in excuse for Musk’s staccato line readings, the pace feels offbeat, and Musk certainly isn’t going to deliver an over-the-top cartoon villain. (Grimes, it has to be said, is a pretty decent melodramatic peach.) Andrew Cuomo’s entry is meant to clarify everything that has happened before, one way or another, but it all ends up being feel more muddy.

Ooli (Chloe Fineman), Iceland’s “social media number one”, and her sidekick Björn (Mikey Day) host celebrities traveling to Iceland including Frances McDormand (Kate McKinnon) and Steve Buscemi (Pete Davidson). As good as Fineman is, Ooli’s world expansion doesn’t add much to his character. With the lack of fishy quality out of the water, she is a cheerful and slightly odd pixie with an accent. There’s a real possibility in the back-and-forth with his loving producer Ragnarok, and Musk is watching the role, but the lines fall flat. With his Buscemi, Davidson is as close as ever to making an impression, but it’s mostly bug-eyed twitching. McKinnon is solid, as is Melissa Villaseñor as Björk.

So the show was not a disaster. The writers did well to play straight off Musk’s stilted performance, writing characters that enjoyed the same kind of conversational awkwardness. Musk doesn’t look like a selfish person or an apologist, although he does want some credit for being a big dreamer. And, interestingly, the segment that looked like an ad for dogecoin may have backfired: Dogecoin value plunged after Musk joked that the cryptocurrency was a “fuss” on “Update”; So, as some financial analysts predicted, the show may have determined the fate of Musk’s favorite crypto. At least he still has cars and space. Next week, sketch comedy giant Keegan-Michael Key is welcoming with a musical guest (already loved by sensitive SNL Men) Olivia Rodrigo.

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