Vinay Menon: Elon Musk will host ‘SNL’ and the backlash from cast members is not funny
|Toronto Star 27 Apr 2021 at 16:08|
Judging by the outrage, you’d think an upcoming host for “Saturday Night Live” was David Duke, the BTK Strangler or a hologram of Osama bin Laden.
But, apparently, it’s worse than that.
I felt that way on Tuesday morning while reading stories about how many, including “SNL” cast members, are outraged because the May 8 episode will be hosted by Elon Musk.
Now, I’m not arguing the billionaire space cowboy and Tesla Technoking — that’s his official title — is funny. He’s not. He has the delivery and timing of a cyborg. When he starts yammering on about lithium ion or Hamiltonian mechanics or canonical co-ordinates or why he and Grimes committed child abuse by naming their baby X Æ A-Xii, the only reason anyone laughs is because they don’t actually understand what the hell he’s talking about.
HAHAHA … huh?
That’s because his cerebrum is firing with different cylinders. You know how a Tesla has various drive modes? Well, Elon’s brain is permanently set to ludicrous.
But, curiously, the people now clutching their pearls and condemning “SNL” for giving a “platform” to Musk are also not making any arguments based on comedic chops. No, the reason one of the most influential people alive should not host this variety show is because, what, he’s offered some hot and wrong takes about the pandemic? He’s anti-union? He ditched California for Texas? He’s secretly funding the intellectual dark web? He’s a poster boy to the junta of podcasters who are now thriving outside of mainstream media?
Again, why exactly are you so upset?
“Let’s find out just how live Saturday Night Live really is,” Musk wrote this weekend, punctuating his cryptic fortune cookie of a tweet with a purple devil emoji.
This seemed to trigger cast members, including Bowen Yang and Aidy Bryant. Yang posted a screengrab of Musk’s tweet on Instagram with a sad face emoji. And Bryant posted a socioeconomic reflection from Bernie Sanders: “The 50 wealthiest people in America today own more wealth than the bottom half of our people. Let me repeat that, because it is almost too absurd to believe: the 50 wealthiest people in this country own more wealth than some 165 MILLION Americans. That is a moral obscenity.”
So, Musk should not host because he’s one of the richest people in the world? Is that what you’re implying with this passive-aggressive shade, Aidy? You got into showbiz because you are deadly serious about the egalitarian redistribution of wealth?
You know who wasn’t a barrel of laughs? Karl Marx.
And you know what else is a moral obscenity? Comedians who don’t understand comedy.
Now that the free world once again has a competent leader who is shockingly boring, the court jesters are having an existential crisis. Bill Maher made this point last week: Joe Biden is quietly doing a bang-up job and there’s nothing funny about that.
But the bigger problem is too many comics have self-deputized as culture cops.
Until recently, I never witnessed a standup comedian going after another standup comedian over an act. It never happened. But now, one joke that slips outside the woke borders and club heads start exploding. It’s bonkers. Your job as a comedian is to push the limits and say things others will not. That’s your job.