No joke: Elon Musk to host Saturday Night Live on May 8

CEO Elon Musk

James Martin/CNET

Elon Musk, the billionaire businessman behind Tesla and SpaceX, will host Saturday Night Live on May 8, the NBC sketch comedy show announced Saturday. Miley Cyrus will be the musical guest. A press release from SNL described Musk as “the CEO and Technoking of Tesla and the chief engineer of SpaceX, which launched the second operational flight of its Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station on April 23.”

Although Musk is a first-time host, Miley Cyrus has been the show’s musical guest five times.

Musk is an unusual choice, to say the least, but some nonactors have hosted in the past. Athletes such as Nancy Kerrigan and Lance Armstrong have hosted the show, as have politicians such as Rudy Giuliani and Al Gore. Even then-presidential candidate Donald Trump hosted in 2015.

And Musk is certainly no stranger to the spotlight (or to cracking a joke). He’s had cameos in Iron Man 2, The Simpsons and Rick and Morty — as Elon Tusk. And then there are the viral moments: taking a toke on Joe Rogan’s podcast, that could-almost-have-been-a-comedy-routine Cybertruck demo. And the tweets — including the one where Musk’s head was Photoshopped onto the Rock’s body. Musk also named his actually-a-thing tunnel-digging business The Boring Company

Naturally, there was some social-media reaction to the SNL news.

“I wonder how much Musk paid NBC and Lorene Michaels for the gig,” one Twitter user wrote, referring to SNL creator Lorne Michaels. “Bet it’s enough to finance SNL’s entire 2021-’22 season.”

Musk didn’t immediately comment on the appearance, but Miley Cyrus retweeted the SNL announcement, with no added comment.

CNET’s Edward Moyer contributed to this report.