Elon Musk, the man who brought you Telsa, SpaceX, $500 flamethrowers, and a whole lot of bad tweets, is apparently now trying to bring you comedy. According to a report on Tuesday from Max Tani at the Daily Beast, Musk has been quietly hiring staffers from satirical comedy site the Onion, including former editor-in-chief Cole Bolton and executive editor Ben Berkley. Several other former writers for the site have joined them since the secret project started up last year.
There are no details on what exactly said project is and how much control Musk actually has over it, beyond backing it financially. “It’s pretty obvious that comedy is the next frontier after electric vehicles, space exploration, and brain-computer interfaces,” Musk, jokingly, told the Daily Beast. “Don’t know how anyone’s not seeing this.” A source also told the Daily Beast Musk considered purchasing the Onion, which was later purchased by Univision, in 2016. That, clearly, did not happen. Though it might have inspired a 2018 post from the site announcing “Elon Musk Offering $1.2 Billion in Grants to Any Project That Promises to Make Him Feel Complete.”
Another source said Musk would have no editorial control over the project. Which is, frankly, a bummer. Musk has a pleasantly dark sense of humor … like that time he announced his plans for colonizing Mars but said he wouldn’t be making the trip himself since the first voyagers will likely die and “I’d like to see my kids grow up.”