Elon, the fifth wall, and the 8th of May

Planet Elon has its own gravity

Elon Musk has broken the fifth wall: He is hosting SNL on May 8th. The “fourth wall” is commonly known, when in a movie or TV show, an actor speaks directly to the audience. Think Ferris Bueller. The fifth wall is when a well-known celebrity billionaire genius meme-lord, who can easily buy and sell, out-tweet, and be more liked than DJT #45, crosses over into full entertainment mode.

So far, the only person on Planet Earth capable of doing accomplishing this dimensional feat is the real-life version of Tony Stark (minus the world-ending weapons), a.k.a. Mr. Musk.

I’ve read think-pieces talking about the halo of “six degrees of Peter Thiel” and how Musk creates “meme stocks” with simple tweets. Also how Musk thumbs his nose at the SEC, multinational banks, insurance companies, investors and the entire auto industry.

It’s not that Musk is right about everything. It’s that he’s always at least one step ahead of those who are actually right. He’s got the science, engineering, and business chops, as well as massive celebrity, and the ability to not give a single turd what anyone says about him—even when he’s saying really terrible or ridiculous things. Think the mini-sub plan to rescue Japanese teenagers trapped in a cave in Thailand.

You may be forgiven for thinking of Musk as a Donald Trumpish figure, but you’d be wrong. Musk actually took the time to learn about battery chemistry, rocket nozzle construction, the electric car market, Mars, self-driving AI systems, drilling giant holes in the earth to run superconducting trains through California (or Dubai), cyptocurrency, and all the other stuff he’s into.

So when this man says he’s going to host SNL, I wouldn’t rule out him spending hours studying video of famous comedians, memorizing jokes, and in general preparing for what may be the most watched episode of the moribund live comedy series since the Blues Brothers.

World, prepare for the fifth wall to be broken, and I for one will stay up late to watch it.

Of course, not everyone is happy.

Why would the longest-running late-night comedy show -- currently in its 46th season -- ask Musk to host an episode? Presumably it's because the show wants to remain relevant. And in defense of "SNL," it must do that. But the show, where I worked on the production staff for eight seasons, should do better than bestowing that honor on Musk, given his irresponsible statements about Covid-19 and his insensitive comments surrounding the transgender community.

CNN actually published that diatribe from Dean Obeidallah. And that makes Musk’s appearance even more funny, while going a long way to explain why SNL hasn’t been very funny lately.

I leave you with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd doing what they do.


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