(I wrote this after watching Elon Musk’s much anticipated turn as the host of SNL last week. These words came to me later that night in a self-induced coma, hellish script appearing through a fog of ether and irreparable psychic damage. Enjoy!)
The secret to Saturday Night Live has always been cocaine. If you go to write, star in, or watch a Saturday Night Live sketch without cocaine in your system, you’re going to have a bad time. Approaching SNL stone cold sober will cause your brains to drip out of your nose like silly putty. Having watched last week's Musktacular voyage, I am now more than ever kicking myself for going off my Vyvanse, stabbing chest pain be damned.
The funniest thing about SNL has always been the mental image of Chevy Chase threatening to murder a stagehand because they didn’t see the latest Fletch movie, or Norm McDonald blowing an entire season’s salary on a dogfight gone awry. It’s never been the sketches aka 'skits' (named for the psychological disorder they impart on their audience) themselves, which have always struck a balance between torturous and other-worldly. From what I can tell SNL's sketches are a CIA psyop designed to bolster recruitment to America’s enemies (the Taliban, the U.N etc), pouring gasoline on their forever wars to justify the purchase of 50 billion dollar helicopters that blow up on takeoff.
Otherwise, why else would this guff exist? How else would this pap stay on TV for 46 seasons!?! What kind of Eldritch power does Lorne Michaels hold over the execs at NBC?!? Has he been walking around 30 Rock in a suicide vest for almost 5 decades? I can't think of another reasonable explanation for how SNL is able to persist.
I watched the show as an autistic comedian hoping to peddle their autistic response to the defiantly non-autistic digital publishing industry, but soon found myself smacking my head like Rain Man and pleading with my laptop to "take me home, boss."
Anywhere but here....
As an autistic , seeing Musk (who falsely claimed to be the first host with Asperger’s [he forgets that Deep Blue hosted in 1998]) made me realise one important thing about neurodiversity, mass culture, and neurodivergent representation: we must re-stigmatise autism, and for the love of Christ we must do it now!!!
Now hold on buckaroo, don't get yer britches twisted, hear me out…:
SNL, to me, is the epitome of neurotypical art. It is a dated variety show created and ruled over by a hoary old hedge wizard, and it feels like watching a 1920s tent revival medicine act while being tortured at a black-site by exiled Nazi doctors as they pump you with ketamine. It is the kind of confronting outsider art that only the straightest, normallo, neurotypical Ivy League sickos could produce (not unlike the Iraq War) and its that glass eyed sanity which makes it so mind-bendingly boggling.
(neurodivergent representation on SNL)
The episode opened with the cast and their mothers reciting curt little bits for Mother’s Day, standing their limply like skeletons hanging from a dungeon wall, their frightening American teeth rattling together with stilted platitudes.
I tell you h’wot: there is nothing quite like seeing someone’s mother read “I love you, son” off a cue card when it comes to kicking off your descent into the uncanny valley. Chilling stuff.
Enter Musk: a slithery salamander who seems like a racist Christopher Walken and Randall from Monster’s Inc had a baby and that baby was cloned with pig stem-cells, but poorly. He is un-human, in the same way a Kobold or a paper plate is un-human.
The Asperger’s line washed over me like piss from the back of a sheep truck hitting my windshields. That is to say, I wiped it aside. The transparency of why he said it was maybe the only comical moment in the entire episode.
Musk, buddy, I’m a weird little goblin too, and heck, I know that there’s no better parachute to safeguard me from an inevitably excruciating onstage bombing like “hey uh…I’m a bit of a spack, lol.” But c’mon: your autism isn’t why you suck or why no one can stand you (it's your wet little lips).
At the end of his monologue Musk’s emerald mine owning mater came out in a suitably green dress and hissed parseltongue at her former egg sack, reading from the cards in a way that reminds the audience that quaaludes are indeed still around, but only the elite can get their mitts on them.
With a slither, the show began in earnest.
(Mother and Spawn)
LOVE AND WARIO
I’ll say this about Elon Musk: he really knows how to let his girdle carry him through a joke. The Gen Z Hospital sketch felt like something police will play in a Judge Dredd-esque dystopian future to determine whether someone should be chemically castrated in accordance to how they respond to it. There is something about seeing a 49 year billionaire gurgle his way through TikTok teen slang like he’s auditioning for To Catch a Predator that is kind of off-putting, but I guess his wife is the ur-E Girl so that creepiness is oozing out of his pores 24/7 anyway, blue wigs be damned. At least the SNL prosthetics team were able to cook up a beard that matched the bizarro aura of Musk's hair plugs.
(this 'man' is 49)
Musk drifts in and out of the following sketches like a ghost caught wanking at an exorcism. Here’s where I empathise with him, as a fellow autistic. The CHUDs of SNL are a fairly ghastly crew, in that they seem like American Girl Dolls brought to life through dark necromancy. The sketches are akin to something you’d have to sit through at a Montessori school assembly because you’re dating the Alternative Geography Learning Facilitator, or some such. The Oolie sketch, a parody of Icelandic TV (I guess?) seems like a threat beamed at us by an alien species in a parallel dimension to let us know “we have been watching you (kinda)”, while inversely, the ‘topical’ Mare of Easttown parody appears like a ghost ship arriving at the shores of Normandy 70 years too late.
Then there is Weekend Update, hosted by Karl Rove’s tulpa and one of the disposable UNSC soldiers from Halo 1. A long standing SNL segment, Weekend Update dares to ask “what if we made 15 minutes feel like 11 hours?”.
Here, Musk appears to explain Dogecoin, basking in the self-referential humour like a dopey dog sprawled out in the sun, and flinching at the deferential asides like the same dog getting a whack on the nose with a rolled up Harvard Lampoon.
In one joke, the tulpa referred to AOL buying Yahoo with: “what is this 1998?” which—after 40 minutes of absorbing references to Bill Cosby, Bjork, OJ Simpson, and Steve Buscemi—caused me to suffer a rectal prolapse of the soul.
Thank the Lorne for Kyle Mooney’s (admittedly mortifying to behold) Baby Yoda, whose jokes were clearly written by Dan Licata, who I presume is kept in a cage in the basement of Rockefeller Centre by Alec Baldwin for fear he break lose and (rightly) rip Alec’s arms off. (Licata is, in all seriousness, a comic genius, check him out).
(a moment of sanity)
I implore you to call LifeLine before you watch the Wario sketch, and insist that they remain on the phone as you sit through it. There is one moment when Musk, who to be fair seems more Wario than Wario could ever dream of seeming, turns to his lawyer and says “I’ma screwed” in a way that is so gullet stripped and lizard like as to convince you in a nanosecond that all those Saurian conspiracy theories your friend who's in permanent care always rattles on about are in fact 110% true.
(txt from hospitalised friend)
Between all these Visions Into The Void they wheel in Miley Cyrus to perform her bestest white-girl Tina Turner cover act. It is like watching your dying aunt nail karaoke at a hookah pipe lounge, and I clung to each song as life preservers of sanity in the maelstrom of vape juice addled paint by numbers yes-and-athon ‘skits’ that were battering against me like horny dolphins in an angry sea.
Underscoring this all is the silence of the audience, intermittently broken by their yawps, whimpers, and wet palmed clapping. Having attended my fair share of late night tapings while living in New York (though never SNL, due to my fear of seeing Goat Boy in the flesh) I know that guards stand at the sides of the audience with cattle prods, zapping them whenever they fail to laugh at Colbert crying over a misfired cruise missile or what have you. But you could replace the audience at this SNL taping with that low menacing humming sound David Lynch puts in all his work and you’d be none the wiser.
The show ends with Elon Musk dressed as a cowboy, graphically sucking himself off (or at least I think that’s what happened, I blacked out by this point.)
(goat boy, in the flesh)
MAY THE LORNE TAKE ME NOW!
And I dreamed. Oh, how I dreamed dear reader. I dreamed that I understood SNL. I dreamed of a world where my autistic brain looked at it and said “this is bad lol” or “this is fine” or “haha, it’s funny cos Iceland be like that” instead of having it whisper to me that “the only SNL sketch you’ll ever find funny is the one where Richard Pryor is in the Star Wars cantina, and you only like it cos he’s stoned out of his gourd and gurning like a horse, probably fantasising about schtupping one of the Jizz music keyboardists in Max Rebo's band at the afterparty.”
SNL is proof that if there is a God that they hate us, and that Lorne is the unspoken name of The Beast that appears in Revelations. It is the realm of the simple and sane, and that is why it is so untethered, frightening and bizarre.
If I could borrow the words of the immortal Wario (the real Wario), the only correct response to SNL is:
(I feel ya buddy!)