“Saturday Night Live” is fielding major criticism for its choice to tap Tesla owner and technocratic billionaire Elon Musk as host, and this time, the call is coming from inside the house. On April 24, NBC announced that Musk would host “Saturday Night Live” on May 8 alongside musical guest Miley Cyrus. While mainstream outlets applauded the headline-grabbing choice, apparently with no thought as to whether or not a CEO is the best choice for a comedy show, backlash to the choice brewed quickly.
Many comedians shared confusion about the choice on social media, including a few of the actual “SNL” cast members who will have to work with him. Though the posts disappeared almost as quickly as they circulated, the screenshots remain. In addition to a general bland stiffness and complete lack of comedy experience, a few expressed thinly veiled disapproval of Musk’s political alignments at a time when wealth inequality is exacerbating almost every social issue in this country.
Recent breakout star Bowen Yang, the first gay male cast member in the show’s history, was not shy about his feelings. Over on his Instagram story, he reacted to the announcement of Musk’s casting with a frowning emoji. He then got a little bolder, posting commentary over Musk’s tweet of “Let’s find out just how live ‘Saturday Night Live’ really is” that asked, “What the fuck does this even mean.”
Fellow cast member Andrew Dismukes, also a writer on “SNL” since 2017, posted on his Instagram: “ONLY CEO I WANT TO DO A SKETCH WITH IS CHER-E OTERI” alongside a photo of former “SNL” star Cheri Oteri.
Longtime player Aidy Bryant was a bit more subtle with her criticism, but arguably more political. She merely shared a quote from Bernie Sanders soon after the announcement: “The 50 wealthiest people in America today own more wealth than the bottom half… that is a moral obscenity.”
Though not a cast member, “Desus and Mero” writer Josh Gondelman was able to take a funnier, and more pointed, approach: “Elon Musk hosting SNL is huge for guys still making ‘that’s what she said’ jokes who think they’d be great at hosting SNL,” Gondelman tweeted.