There have been some unexpected “Saturday Night Live” hosts over the years.
Turn the clock back far enough and you will find that the long-running late-night comedy series has offered its stage to such unlikely candidates as Brandon Tartikoff, when he was the president of NBC’s entertainment division, and George Steinbrenner, the pugnacious owner of the Yankees.
“S.N.L.” has drawn eyeballs and raised eyebrows by occasionally recruiting from the political world, too, including the New York mayors Ed Koch and Rudolph W. Giuliani and presidential hopefuls like Steve Forbes and John McCain. In 2015, it gave a platform to the then-candidate Donald J. Trump in an appearance that the show’s own cast members later said they had come to regret.
Now it seems that “Saturday Night Live” is attempting its own moonshot of sorts. NBC said on Saturday that Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla and chief engineer of SpaceX, would host the program on May 8. Miley Cyrus, the pop singer and a frequent performer on “S.N.L.,” will be the musical guest that night.
The announcement was made a few hours after the Crew Dragon Endeavour, a SpaceX craft, had successfully docked with the International Space Station on Saturday morning, following its launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Friday.
Musk, 49, has previously appeared on shows like “South Park,” “The Simpsons” and “Rick and Morty” and in films like “Iron Man 2” and has gained an online following for initiatives like his recent announcement that Tesla would accept the digital currency Bitcoin for payments.
Musk has also been criticized for his treatment of his employees, and his companies and projects have come under close scrutiny.
Last month, the National Labor Relations Board upheld a 2019 ruling that found that a tweet Musk had posted, which appeared to threaten workers with the loss of stock options for planning to unionize, was illegal. The board also ruled that Tesla had illegally fired a worker involved in union organizing.
And more than 400 workers at a Tesla plant in Fremont, Calif., tested positive for the coronavirus last year after Musk reopened the plant, flouting guidelines from health officials, according to public health data released in March by the website PlainSite.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has confirmed that it is looking into nearly two dozen crashes involving vehicles that were using or may have used Tesla’s Autopilot technology. Musk has said that the technology makes Tesla cars safer than other vehicles.
Previous “Saturday Night Live” hosts this season have included the actors Daniel Kaluuya, Carey Mulligan and Regé-Jean Page, the musicians Adele and Nick Jonas and the comedian Bill Burr.