He's a billionaire business magnate with ambitions to help colonize mars — who would ever imagine Elon Musk could be a super villain?
Stephen Colbert, naturally.
On Wednesday night, Musk was a guest on the second episode of CBS' The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
The interview started off innocuously enough. When Colbert informed Musk that his CEO-ship of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, as well as his chairmanship of SolarCity, had earned him the reputation of being a real life Tony Stark (a.k.a Iron Man) Musk mostly shrugged it off.
There were even a few laughs when Colbert showed this oddly suggestive video of a functional charger prototype for the Model S by Tesla Motors.
Charger prototype finding its way to Model S. https://t.co/L9E4MR642G— @TeslaMotors
"Is that thing going to attack me in my sleep?" Colbert asks Musk.
"For the prototype, at least, I would recommend not dropping anything when you're near it," Musk replies, to the delight of the studio audience.
But things turned sinister when Colbert brought up Musk's plans for the red planet … Mars.
For the most part, Musk appeared genuinely undeterred by Mars' stark uninhabitability and suggested the "fixer upper of a planet" could be warmed, and rendered more hospitable to humans, in two ways: the "slow way," which, like Earth, involves the release of greenhouse gasses, and the "fast way" which requires the detonation of thermonuclear bombs over the planet's poles.
That's right. Musk suggested we consider, possibly, one day, nuking Mars.
"You're a super villain, that's what a super villain does," said Colbert. "Superman doesn't say we'll drop thermonuclear bombs, that's Lex Luthor, man."
Once again, Musk seemed mostly indifferent to the comparison.
But the seed was planted.
I'm pretty thankful that Elon Musk uses his powers for good, and not to be an actual super villian :T— @SEGY_
@jlai4747 Elon Musk's scary looking octo-arm thing definitely looks more like a Super-Villian's technology.— @jlai4747
We are only one industrial accident or bad breakup away from Elon Musk becoming a super villian. And I for one am PUMPED.— @Joe_Reinhard
Can any of us be sure that @elonmusk isn't a super villian?— @benstizzy
Of course, there's no reason to worry, right?
“One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply & be quite insane.” Nikola Tesla. Happy b-day to you. pic.twitter.com/p1Po9oFyZh— @TeslaMotors