May 11, 2021 -- During the latest episode of Saturday Night Live, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he was the first person with Asperger’s Syndrome to host the variety sketch show.
“Or at least the first person to admit it,” he said during the opening monologue.
This may have been the first time that Musk has publicly said he has Asperger’s, according to The Associated Press. At least one former SNL host, Dan Aykroyd, has also talked about having Asperger’s, the AP noted.
Musk said it was an honor to be a host — and emphasized that he meant it.
“Sometimes after I say something, I have to say, ‘I mean that,’” Musk explained, humorously noting that he often doesn’t have a varied tone of voice.
Musk made pointed jokes about himself during the monologue and acknowledged that he often feels misunderstood.
“I know I sometimes say or post strange things, but that’s just how my brain works,” he said. “To anyone I’ve offended, I just want to say, I reinvented electric cars and I’m sending people to Mars in a rocket ship. Did you think I was also going to be a chill, normal dude?”
Leading up to the episode, SNL faced criticism for inviting Musk to be a host. Critics said the show was celebrating a billionaire who spread misinformation online by downplaying the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the early months of the pandemic, Musk posted on social media about the pandemic response and said the “coronavirus panic is dumb,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. In November, he contracted the virus and said it was a moderate case.
During one of the sketches, which featured a cowboy standoff, Musk joked that his character thought masks were dumb during a bank robbery.
“OK, for a while, I thought masks were dumb,” he said. “But now, I think masks make sense.”
Musk also brought his mother Maye on stage, and they recalled a time that Musk created a video game about space when he was 12. They joked that her Mother’s Day gift would be Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency that Musk referenced several times throughout the episode.
Musk also appeared on Weekend Update as a Dogecoin expert and in sketches about Mars, post-quarantine parties and a murder trial with Mario characters, where he played a misunderstood Wario. For the first time, SNL was live-streamed internationally on YouTube in more than 100 countries.