• December 9, 2022

Trevor Noah on Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover: ‘He’s scrambling’

  Reading time 5 minutes

Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah mocked Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter on Tuesday’s Daily Show, which was filmed on stage in Atlanta. The billionaire wanted Twitter to be “a haven for free speech”, Noah explained.

“Because let’s be honest – up until now, people have really held back on Twitter,” he joked.

But since his takeover on Friday, Musk has been “scrambling to figure out how to make this whole thing work”, said Noah, after the Tesla CEO was “forced to spend $44bn, because it was a troll that turned into a real [thing]. He used his free speech, and he paid a big price.

“It’s going to be hard to make money from this thing,” he added, as Twitter is not profitable and has substantial debt. Hence, Musk’s plan, leaked on Monday, to charge verified users $20 a month (later revised to $8 a month) to maintain their blue check status.

“I guess he’s hoping that everyone else on Twitter will also make terrible financial decisions like he did,” Noah joked. “You realize with $8 a month, you could get Netflix, you get Paramount+, you could get Hulu. Or, you can pay so that people verify that they’re actually shitting on you.”

Even funnier, Noah continued, was the reason Musk gave for the policy – because he’s sick of “Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue check mark,” he wrote in a tweet which praised the blue check mark payment plan as “power to the people!”

“If you’re trying to create equality on Twitter, why charge anyone to be verified?” Noah wondered. “Give it everyone for free or give it to no one, because it doesn’t make sense to offer it as ‘equality’ and then put a price on it.

“Can you imagine if MLK was out there like ‘I have a dream, I have a dream and I’ll tell you all about it for $8.99 a month,” he added.

If Musk really wants to make money from Twitter, Noah concluded, he should “charge white people to say the N-word”.

Stephen Colbert

On the Late Show, Stephen Colbert also poked fun at Musk’s plan to charge a monthly subscription fee for verification status on Twitter; verified users will have 90 days to subscribe before they lose their blue check mark. “But that would be chaos! I rely on that check mark to know which of my butters I can’t not believe!” Colbert joked.

In response to the proposal, author Stephen King tweeted: “$20 a month to keep my blue check? Fuck that, they should pay me.”

Musk directly responded to King: “We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?”

“That was a quick fold from the businessman,” said Colbert, who did the math on the $8 a month proposal – at $8 a month, times the 400,000 verified users presently on Twitter, Musk would rake in $38.4m. Divide the $44bn paid by Musk for Twitter by that income, he could pay off his purchase in 1,145 years. “By which time, this haircut might be in style,” Colbert joked, referring to a recent photo of Musk.

Jimmy Kimmel

And in Los Angeles, Jimmy Kimmel checked in on the latest with Donald Trump, as his team mulls over whether to respond from a congressional subpoena to testify before the House January 6 committee. “Liz Cheney made it clear that his testimony would be under oath,” Kimmel explained. “As if that means anything – typically when Donald Trump takes an oath, it ends in divorce.”

“It’s interesting because if he does testify, Trump’s almost certainly going to say something incriminating,” he continued. “So the question is: does he want to be on TV more than he doesn’t want to be in jail? I’m going with TV, I think.”

Trump is “particularly salty” this week because Hillary Clinton has demanded he pay legal fees for a lawsuit he filed alleging that she tried to sabotage his campaign. “How sweet would that be, if Trump had to pay Hillary’s legal fees?” Kimmel mused. “He doesn’t pay his own legal fees, let alone hers.”

“The only way to get money out of Donald Trump is to spank him with a Forbes magazine and threaten to tell Huffington Post about it.”

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