In case you didn’t hear, Elon Musk hosted Saturday Night Live last weekend and viewers were left feeling — uh, to put it nicely — very unsatisfied. It looks like plenty of investors were also underwhelmed, because Musk’s net worth reportedly dropped by a whopping $20 billion (!) after his SNL episode aired.
As the cofounder and CEO of Tesla, Musk took quite the hit on Wall Street following his appearance. According to estimates by Forbes, shares of Tesla have fallen more than 15% so far this week, lowering Musk’s net worth by $20.5 billion total. That said, his net worth is still roughly $145.5 billion, which means Musk is still the third-richest person on the planet despite dabbling in fraud. For comparison, Bill Gates is sitting on an estimated $127.6 billion thanks to his Microsoft fortune.
Heading into SNL, Musk was worth an estimated $166 billion. He was the richest person to ever host the show, and viewers were confused as to why someone’s wealth would make them a worthy pick for a sketch comedy institution. The tech mogul tried to crack a number of jokes onstage, including a ridiculous Super Mario Bros. bit. At several points during the episode, Musk poked fun at cryptocurrency, despite having recently promoted it nonstop on Twitter. He called Dogecoin a “hustle”, a label that seemed to directly impact its value — Dogecoin plummeted more than 30% within 24 hours following his statement. No big deal!
To be fair, SNL doesn’t deserve all of the blame. Tesla shares have been trending downwards since their January 8th peak, although they somewhat bounced back in February after Musk announced that Tesla would accept Bitcoin as payment. That’s one of the reasons Musk’s subsequent Twitter comments on Wednesday caused such a shudder in the cryptocurrency markets. On May 12th, he declared that Tesla was indefinitely suspending Bitcoin as payment, citing concerns about the “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions.” By the following morning, Bitcoin had plunged 17% to below $50,000.
Hey, at least Musk didn’t use his platform on SNL to spout nonsense about all his other ideas, like colonizing Mars and implanting chips into human brains. Then again, there’s a good chance the cast members were hesitant to hand the reigns over to him at all, never mind interested in writing jokes about Tesla, Space X, and Neurolink. And while it’s hard to know if any of this contributed to his partner Grimes’ hospitalization for a panic attack earlier in the week, one thing is clear: It’s been a stressful week to be someone depending on Elon Musk.