$44 Billion For Twitter? Let's Revisit When Elon Musk Quit On Writers From The Onion
If you keep getting booed off the stage … but you’re rich? Sometimes you just buy your own comedy club.
Wannabe comedian Elon Musk is buying himself one fancy microphone, paying $44 billion to buy Twitter, the ‘stage’ upon which he tells most of his jokes. Now when he wants to make April Fools jokes about Tesla going belly-up, there will be no stupid Terms of Service to get in his way.
We’re only half-joking.
Elon Musk has a long career as a fledgling funny man, and thus far, few of his efforts have worked out to his satisfaction. Check out these attempts to get a foothold in the comedy game:
He Wanted To Buy The Onion
“In order to understand the essential truth of things,” Musk told Rolling Stone, “I think you can find it in The Onion.”
Ah, The Onion. Before the comedy site and its sister sites AV Club and Clickhole were sold to Univision in 2016, Musk was sniffing around the satirical publication himself, according to The Daily Beast. The sticking point, apparently, was the ancillary sites -- Musk wanted The Onion but could do without the rest.
But The Onion and Musk were undeniably chummy, with the site poking fun at the billionaire’s business ventures and Musk gamely playing along.
And maybe if he couldn’t have that comedy toy, he could own the next best thing.
He Wanted To Create the Next Onion
The next best thing was poaching The Onion’s talent, including top editors and writers, to create a Musk-driven comedy project that would be all his own.
That project, ironically and aptly named Thud, was announced -- where else? -- on Twitter.
Thud was a big idea, or a collection of big ideas, or maybe no well-formed idea at all. More of a prank shop than a publication, Thud would craft “big, sharp, and surprising satirical projects.” Some of those projects are still online -- a site parodying DNA testing services, another offering a doofus personality profile. They’re pretty funny.
But there were two problems. None of the satirical projects were designed to make money (and why should they have to, with Musk’s billions behind them?). And Musk at some point lost interest and cut funding, leaving all the ex-Onion folks high and dry.
He Wanted To Show Off His Comedy Chops on National Television
Bored of his forays into online humor (except for the more-than-occasional Twitter goof), Musk decided to show the world his comedy chops once and for all -- by hosting Saturday Night Live.
Many performers are terrified of SNL -- unlike film or episodic TV, there are no second takes when a line is botched or a pratfall is bungled. But Musk was raring to go.
Not everyone at SNL was pleased. Cast members Bowen Yang, Andrew Dismukes, and Aidy Bryant took to social media to express their dismay at Musk being given the reins. As for the actual show? It … didn't go well. The Wrap went as far as to call Musk the worst SNL host ever. “He’s just a black hole of fun, without a shred of charisma, and he delivered a performance that’s on the level of what you’d expect to see in a middle school play.”
Everyone's a critic.
At least they will be on Elon Musk's new Twitter. And we're pretty sure our guy has a bunch of new material he can't wait to try out.
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Top image: Broadway Video