From his space spat with Jeff Bezos to his ex-gf Grimes trying to become a meme post-breakup, Elon Musk’s 2021 was full of secondhand embarrassment. But the Musk muck-up that’s seared in our minds from this year is likely when he hosted SNL in May.
According to the LA Times, Musk was the first non-entertainer/athlete to host the show since Donald Trump in 2015, and his hosting gig couldn’t have come at a more bizarre time. Leading up to the show, dogecoin, a cryptocurrency based on the meme of a shiba inu dog, had soared to become the fourth-biggest digital coin by market capitalization. Musk had a big hand in all this—his tweets about the coin, such as “Dogecoin is the people’s crypto,” helped fuel its popularity.
- Dogecoin had become such a frenzy that it accounted for 34% of Robinhood’s entire crypto trading revenue in the first quarter. The trading platform warned that a decline in the price of dogecoin could affect its business.
Well, those fears came true. The price of dogecoin dropped 36% during the Musk’s SNL episode, in which he called the token a “hustle” in a sketch—and it hasn’t recovered. Now, dogecoin is the eleventh-largest crypto by market cap.
But it wasn’t all cringy. Technically, the episode won an Emmy, but it certainly wasn’t for Musk’s Wario impression…or his comedic ability: SNL won the award for Outstanding Contemporary Makeup for a Variety, Nonfiction, or Reality Program for the episode Musk hosted.
Runner up: Mark Zuckerberg’s July Fourth tweet
The Meta CEO released a lot of questionable video content this year, but his Fourth of July post, which showed him holding an American flag while riding a hydrofoil surfboard as John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” played, probably takes the cake as the cringiest.
Runner up: The “family photo” from the G-7
This year’s group photo from the G-7 summit in Cornwall, England, in June would have made Tyra Banks lose her mind. Top world leaders posed awkwardly before a 3-day meeting in which they discussed pressing topics like the Covid economic recovery and fighting climate change. It was also Biden’s first summit abroad as president.—MM