Well, this is awkward.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, hosted Saturday Night Live this evening. And Dogecoin's unofficial spokesperson has jokes about the joke coin.
Musk is neither an actor nor a comedian, but he is entertaining. With plenty to say about space exploration and Thai cave rescues, Musk came into the sketch program as a polarizing public figure/performance artist.
But no one in crypto cared about any of that. They just wanted to know: Would he use the late-night appearance to pump my bags of Dogecoin?
Well, he initially left that to his mom.
Musk, who has made no secret of his affinity for the joke/meme token, brought his mom Maye Musk onstage for his opening monologue. She told her son she hoped her Mother's Day gift from him wouldn't be Dogecoin. "It is," Musk said.
Dogecoin may not be as valuable by the time she receives it. The price of DOGE began dropping immediately after the monologue, showing a red candle and falling starkly from $0.66 to $0.52 in the course of an hour.
Later, in the "Weekend Update" portion of the show, anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che repeatedly asked Musk, who was in character as a financial expert named Lloyd Ostertag, what Dogecoin is. After providing a series of half-answers, he finally said, "It's a hustle."
Lloyd Ostertag stopped by the desk to talk cryptocurrency. pic.twitter.com/cuILxOBJlj
— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) May 9, 2021
Dogecoin was developed in 2013 as a joke and as a fun way of tipping and donating to cool projects. The returns, however, have been quite serious. After maintaining a consistent value of under a penny for most of its existence, DOGE has shot up over 6,800% since the start of the year. It's now the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization with $90 billion worth in crypto wallets.
Musk has played some part in that. His tweets about Dogecoin have a tendency to move the market upward, no doubt because the public views him as a successful businessman for his stewardship of electric car company Tesla. Though Musk has asserted that his tweets about Dogecoin are meant as jokes—and more recently that people should "invest with caution"—the blue check mark next to his Twitter handle provides an unofficial imprimatur to the project for his 53 million followers.
The Tesla CEO isn't the only one bullish on DOGE. Billionaire investor Mark Cuban, whose Dallas Mavericks accept Dogecoin as payment, said this week at the 2021 Ethereal Virtual Summit powered by Decrypt that he expects the token to reach the $1 mark soon, and then stay there.
"DOGE is becoming more of a utility in terms of as a currency," Cuban said. "You know, you can go to the Mavs shop and you can spend it—and we sell a lot more in Dogecoin than we do in Ethereum or Bitcoin."
Now, if Tesla were to accept Dogecoin, there's no telling how high the token's price might rise. But after a few mentions on SNL, the joke has already gone farther than anyone imagined.
This article was updated later on in the SNL episode.