May 8, 2021

"Musk is the first person from the business world to host SNL since Donald Trump in 2015...."

"Such unorthodoxy could give both Musk and [SNL producer Lorne] Michaels what they want: an important new audience for Michaels, and a humanization of Musk during a time of fierce anti-1-percenter sentiment. It also could blow up in their faces.... Musk will arrive on SNL just a week after four astronauts aboard a SpaceX Dragon capsule successfully splashed down at night in the Gulf of Mexico.... Musk has also garnered notice for his quixotic tunnel plans, his cryptocurrency investments, an unexpected move to Texas, an infamous Joe Rogan podcast appearance, a more infamous cybertruck failure, his belief that pandemic lockdowns were ‘fascist,’ and skeptical comments about the coronavirus vaccine, though he later walked those back.... 'I think Lorne recognizes if he just keeps playing to liberals on the coasts, his audience will wither,' said a late-night television veteran familiar with his thinking who spoke on the condition of anonymity to preserve a relationship with the producer. 'So he’s trying something.' But those efforts are fraught; previous attempts at audience expansion have backfired. In 2019, Michaels hired the working-man’s comic Shane Gillis in part to appeal to Middle America but had to let him go just days later when it was revealed Gillis had used racist and homophobic slurs. Another bid for red-state audiences came last October with the naming of the young country star Morgan Wallen as musical guest. That blew up, too, when Wallen was seen partying maskless in an Alabama bar...."

Writes Steven Zeitchik in "Elon Musk is being brought in to save SNL’s sagging ratings. He could sink the show in other ways. In the entertainment and business worlds, there is an argument in favor of the unorthodox host — as well as plenty of warnings" (WaPo).

Zeitchik seems way overinvested in preserving "SNL" as a bastion of liberal/woke politics. Or is he beset with flashbacks over that 2015 Trump appearance? That all seemed like good fun — even a good way to hurt Trump — and then look what happened! 

And I can't let this go without mention: "Musk has also garnered notice for his quixotic tunnel plans." He doesn't just get notice. He garners notice. That is he saves up the notice in garners — a "garner" being a granary or a storehouse for corn. "Garner" was a noun for centuries before it was a verb, and as a verb it's a dead metaphor, but some of us — me, chiefly — remember the dead. 

If I worked on this post all day, I could figure out a way to connect garnering to "quixotic," because the reference is to Don Quixote, and Don Quixote famously tilted at windmills, so you have 2 things connected to grain — mills and garners. But I have some restraint. I'll just show you this fantastic Gustave DorĂ© illustration:

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