Elon Musk's Saturday Night Live tenure is off to a rough start after he began airing some of his ideas for the show on Twitter. Musk will host SNL this coming weekend on Saturday, May 8. When he tweeted about "some skit ideas," cast member Chris Redd schooled him on the basics.
"First I'd call em sketches," Redd wrote with a crying laughing emoji. For those that don't know, there is a big difference between a skit and a sketch in the parlance of comedians. A "skit" typically refers to one single joke or "bit," while a "sketch" refers to a broader concept, character or scene. Those who work on shows like SNL balk at the label "skit" for what is more commonly referred to as "sketch comedy." Musk's misstep here only added fuel to the fire of doubt raging against him on social media.
In subsequent tweets, Redd assured his followers that everything is fine between him, Musk and the rest of the SNL cast and crew. He said that he was simply in "roast mode" and couldn't resist poking fun at the host. Still, given the climate around Musk's hosting gig and the other responses to his tweets about it, it makes sense that Redd would be taken for a genuine critic.
First I’d call Em sketches 😂 https://t.co/37liDrKYjo— Chris Redd (@Reddsaidit) May 2, 2021
"Irony Man — defeats villains using the power of irony," Musk tweeted as one example of a "skit idea." "Baby Shark & Shark Tank merge to form Baby Shark Tank," read another. A separate tweet read: "Woke James Bond SNL May 8."
Twitter has been full of critics questioning the choice to cast Musk ever since the announcement last week. While he has made TV and movie appearances before, he is still best-known as an entrepreneur with a dubious success rate and a ruthless businessman with a questionable reputation for worker treatment. Many commenters seemed to agree that he was "unfunny" in all of his previous media appearances.
When Musk was first announced as the host, he tweeted: "Let's find out just how live Saturday Night Live really is." Cast member Bowen Yang responded publicly: "What the f— does this even mean?"
dying at bowen yang's instagram stories after snl announced elon musk is hosting pic.twitter.com/6VVQ47frkR— megan (@chaoticmlkhotel) April 25, 2021
Between that and Redd's post, many commenters have been expressing sympathy for the cast members, inferring that they are not excited to work with Musk. In response, a source at NBC told Page Six that no one would be forced to participate in the episode.
"Speaking historically, if a cast member has been that unhappy, they don't have to do it," they said. "[SNL creator Lorne Michaels] won't ever make them do anything they don't want to do."
Whether any cast members will go so far as to abstain from Musk's episode remains to be seen. Either way, many commenters have already vowed not to watch it. Musk's episode of SNL premieres on Saturday, May 8 at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC.