"SNL" and Elon Musk Offer Tips for Post-Quarantine Conversations

Last night, Elon Musk hosted Saturday Night Live. While Musk has made some onscreen appearances in the past — including lending his voice to a Rick and Morty episode and playing himself in Iron Man 2 — comedy can be a trickier task. At times, Musk’s presence recalled the late-80s period when a number of prominent athletes hosted the show, a time when SNL‘s writers had to figure out how to make someone like, say, Wayne Gretzky mesh relatively seamlessly in a comedy setting.

One of the most successful efforts to work Musk into the SNL ensemble came via a filmed sketch about people interacting after quarantining for over a year. The sketch follows three conversations, and occasionally reveals what the participants are thinking — including a guy who may be unwittingly flirting with his cousin.

That the sketch pairs Musk with Heidi Garner, who often plays characters with an offbeat energy, works in its favor; so too does the fact that awkward interactions are literally the point here. If some of the episode’s sketches seemed designed for their meme potential (Gen Z Hospital, we’re looking at you) over all else, this one found a way to let Musk click with the ensemble more organically.

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