Michael Che says he likes that Elon Musk is a polarizing SNL host: 'Everybody wants to watch now'

Michael Che says he likes that Elon Musk is a polarizing SNL host: 'Everybody wants to watch now'
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Saturday Night Live co-head writer Michael Che says the controversy over Tesla boss Elon Musk guest hosting the NBC sketch show has made it a must-watch episode.

The comedian made a virtual visit to The Wendy Williams Show on Friday, where he was asked by Williams about reports that some of his castmates weren't in favor of the controversial mogul getting the gig.

"Well, you know what's funny is that like, I would say I know about 20-25 percent of the white people that get to host the show anyway. So Elon, I was like, 'Oh, I know who he is at least.' I don't really know a lot about pop culture, so I really don't ever know who the host is in the first place," Che admitted to Williams. "But I like that it's kind of polarizing and stuff. To me, it makes it exciting, I mean, everybody wants to watch now, so that's cool."

Trae Patton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images; Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Michael Che and this week's 'SNNL' host Elon Musk

Later in the interview, the talk show host brought up Che's job as co-head writer for SNL (Duties he shares with his fellow Weekend Update anchor Colin Jost, as well as writers Kent Sublette and Anna Drezen). When Williams suggested that viewers will be looking at Musk onstage, "but thinking about" Che, he explained there are many folks crafting the jokes each week, not just the head writers.

"To me, at the show, titles don't really mean anything because for comedy, you know, the hot hand gets the ball no matter what," Che explained. "So you could be head writer one day and then the next show you don't get anything on because everything else was funnier. So, it's just more about what you're adding to the particular show and not your title."

Watch Che's full interview with Williams below:

The first SNL promo featuring Musk dropped on Thursday. "I'm a wild card so there's no telling what I might do," Musk said in the clip, something echoed by this weekend's musical guest, Miley Cyrus. When SNL cast member Cecily Strong noted it was the Mother's Day episode and their moms would be there, Cyrus and Musk quickly changed their tune. "Fine, we'll be good-ish," he replied, with a shrug.

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Musk has been one of the show's more controversial hosts of late. He's drawn criticism for his anti-union sentiments and spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this year, Musk was ordered by the National Labor Relations Board to delete a previous anti-union tweet he'd posted (Tesla has appealed), and in 2018, settled a securities fraud charge brought against him by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Some of the SNL cast seemed less than thrilled about Musk taking the stage at 30 Rock when it was first announced.

Bowen Yang, an EW Pride issue cover star, shared a frowning face on his Instagram Story after the news broke. He also responded to Musk's tweet that read, "Let's find out just how live Saturday Night Live really is," with "What the f--- does that even mean?"

At the time, castmate Aidy Bryant seemed to react to the news by sharing a tweet from Senator Bernie Sanders about the "moral obscenity" of America's wealth distribution.

Andrew Dismukes also Instagrammed, the "ONLY CEO I WANT TO DO A SKETCH WITH IS CHER-E OTERI," following the announcement and shared an image of SNL legend Cheri Oteri.

Pete Davidson, though, has been supportive. On Thursday he revealed he and several of the show's cast went to dinner with Musk.

"We got Lorne [Michaels], we got Chris Redd, Kenan [Thompson], Chloe Fineman was there. Ego [Nwodim] was there, and [Colin] Jost was there," Davidson shared on The Breakfast Club on Power 105.1 in New York City.

He didn't, however, foot the bill.

"I, one time, was like, 'Oh, maybe it'd be cool if I got the bill for one of the host dinners,'" he remembered. Then he found out how much the check ran. "I was like no way. No way, dude," he chuckled during the morning show chat, sharing that they typically run "a couple racks."

The episode with Musk and Cyrus airs this Saturday live coast-to-coast at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT on NBC.

Check out our daily must-see picks — plus news, celeb interviews, trivia, and more — in EW's What to Watch podcast, hosted by Gerrad Hall.

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