Saturday Night Live has had odd hosts outside of entertainment and sports before, such as activist Ralph Nader, former Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes and Ron Nessen, the former press secretary to President Gerald Ford. But the nature of fame has changed in the social media age, says Jesse Hassenger. "Elon Musk theoretically creates things, but the idea of forming a fandom-style attachment to a guy whose primary accomplishment has been amassing wealth is, if not new, certainly exacerbated by internet platforms," says Hassenger. "It’s the same bizarre, worshipful instinct that leads Barstool Sports readers to swarm perceived haters on Twitter, inspires Joe Rogan listeners to treat the word of a sitcom second-stringer as gospel, or goads millions of people to pledge their allegiance to Trump, rather than a coherent, fixed political platform." Hassenger adds: "That’s the thing about cults of personality, and why it’s easy to mistake them for something genuinely independent-minded: They don’t require regular interfacing with traditional media. If anything, they thrive on antagonism of it, positioning their audience as savvy freedom fighters who can’t be controlled by corporate outlets—just people who run their own corporations. That give-and-take between self-made celebrity and privileged enabling is what makes the Elon Musk booking feel so unclean. Obviously, it’s specifically disappointing because of his awful labor practices and dangerous spreading of pandemic misinformation (the latter of which in turn would, if accepted as fact, further enable his awful labor practices). In practice, it’s unlikely that watching an off-putting man bumble through live sketch comedy, whether self-deprecating, self-promoting, or, most likely, a mix of the two, will serve as an Elon Musk conversion experience. More sinister is the way that Musk can turn Saturday Night Live into just another platform for his fans and his 'content,' whatever that may be. Does Musk himself know? 'Let’s find out just how live Saturday Night Live really is,' he tweeted both ominously and stupidly, a shameless gesture toward his Reddit-maverick image as well as a strong suggestion that he has no idea how SNL actually works."