One of the most anticipated and hyped moments of Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s appearance on Saturday Night Live this weekend was the possible, and highly probable, mention of Dogecoin, the meme cryptocurrency the tech billionaire has helped inflate to record highs. Never one to disappoint his adoring fanboys, Musk gave them what they wanted.
Musk, who hosted the internationally broadcast show on Saturday, talked about Dogecoin in a “Weekend Update” sketch in which he played financial expert Lloyd Ostertag. Almost immediately, Musk also introduced himself as the “Dogefather,” a reference to one of his recent tweets, which itself is a riff on The Godfather. The self-proclaimed Dogefather then proceeds to describe how cryptocurrencies work and states that, lately, prices for cryptocurrencies, especially Dogecoin, have been soaring.
Weekend Update co-anchor Michael Che then presses Musk to explain what Dogecoin is, a question many of us have asked ourselves in recent months. The tech billionaire states that Dogecoin started out as a joke based on an internet meme, but it’s taken off in a real way. Not satisfied, Che, along with co-anchor Colin Jost, asks again for Musk to explain what Dogecoin is. And repeats the question again. And again.
After a bit of back and forth, Musk finally appears to break down Dogecoin in a way the anchors on the Weekend Update can understand.
“I keep telling you, it’s a cryptocurrency you can trade for conventional money,” Musk said.
“Oh, so it’s a hustle,” Che said.
“Yeah, it’s a hustle,” Musk admitted.
Although it was a comedy sketch, Musk finally seemed to recognize what (real) financial experts have said about Dogecoin all along. (This week, Musk himself said that cryptocurrency is promising but also warned his followers to invest with caution). Ironically, but not unsurprisingly considering that cryptocurrencies are volatile, Dogecoin was down 40% early Sunday, or as low as 44 cents according to CNN, after the Dogefather talked about it on SNL.
Besides mentioning Dogecoin, it was highly likely that Musk would talk about another one of his many obsessions, Mars, especially considering SpaceX’s recent Starship success this past week. On Wednesday, the company successfully landed a prototype of the Starship rocket it will use to take astronauts back to the Moon and one day take humans to Mars. It has been the only prototype that hasn’t exploded.
In this sketch, set in the near future, Musk has apparently already built a colony on the Red Planet. However, it has been hit by a solar storm, which has affected the life support systems, specifically the oxygen supply. Musk oversees a brave but absent-minded colonist named Chad (Pete Davidson) outside of the colony to turn on the backup oxygen circulator.
“Chad, I want to make sure you understand that you won’t survive this mission,” Musk said. “To save your fellow colonists, you have to make the ultimate sacrifice.”
“Hm, sack,” Davidson said.
The sketch also includes Miley Cyrus, the episode’s musical guest, and is set to dramatic music one would expect in space movies. Chad is ultimately successful in his mission but meets a tragic end.
“Well, I did say people were going to die,” Musk said, another reference to statements he’s made about going to Mars. “I was never here.”
Correction 5/9/2021, 7:18 p.m. ET: A previous version of this blog misquoted Pete Davidson’s Chad character. He did not say “sick,” as we erroneously stated, but rather “sack,” as in ball sack. Because Chad is an idiot. We apologize for this error.