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Credit: Rosalind O'Connor/NBC

Elon Musk brings SpaceX to SNL for 'The Martian' parody during first-ever hosting gig

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May 9, 2021, 9:52 AM EDT

SpaceX founder Elon Musk took Saturday Night Live all the way to Mars in last night's special Mother's Day episode of the long-running NBC sketch comedy series. In a pre-filmed segment entitled "Chad on Mars," Musk played himself in a tense mission control room as a dim-witted — and borderline apathetic astronaut — named Chad (Pete Davidson) is tasked with a dangerous mission to save a colony of humans on the Red Planet. The skit, which also featured an appearance from musical guest Miley Cyrus, was an obvious parody of Ridley Scott's The Martian, but without all the suspense or Matt Damon charisma.

"I believe in a renewable energy future. I believe that humanity must become a multi-planetary, space-faring civilization. Those seem like exciting goals, don't they?" Musk, who is reportedly the first person with Asperger's Syndrome to host SNL, said during his opening monologue. "Now think, if I just posted that on Twitter, I'd be fine," he joked, referring to controversial tweets he's made in the past. "I know I sometimes say or post strange things, but that's just how my brain works. To anyone I've offended, I just want to say I re-invented electric cars and I'm sending people to Mars in a rocket ship. Did you also think I was gonna be a chill, normal dude?"

Musk's bright vision of the future wasn't so welcome in a sketch about a group of 19th century cowboys planning to seek revenge against a gang of violent bandits. His suggestion to "tunnel down into the Earth and come up underneath them" (perhaps a nod to Hyperloop) gets more than a few raised eyebrows from his fellow frontiersmen. Imagine Back to the Future's Doc Brown being stuck in 1885, but instead of keeping his knowledge of the future a secret, he goes around town, pitching ideas to people who can't even comprehend the idea of an "electric horse" or new form of currency based on "whatever we say it's based on." 

That was the night's second reference to Dogecoin, a type of crypto-currency that rocketed into the spotlight after public endorsements from well-known billionaires like Musk and Mark Cuban. However, the value of Dogecoin fell about 40 percent once Musk (the self-proclaimed "Dogefather") called the currency "a hustle" while playing financial expert Lloyd Ostertag on "Weekend Update."

Other notable sketches from last night's SNL involved the return of Kyle Mooney's Baby Yoda (who promoted a pay-per-view MMA fight between himself and Baby Groot) and a Nintendo-inspired court case in which Wario (Musk) is accused of killing Mario (Kenan Thompson) during a Kart race.