Elon Musk (Credit: CBS)

Elon Musk refuses to answer Stephen Colbert's simple question: "Are you a super hero or a super villain?"

Musk's suggestion that the best way to make Mars habitable would be to nuke its poles sounds awful super-villainy


Scott Eric Kaufman
September 10, 2015 6:21PM (UTC)

Stephen Colbert welcomed Space X CEO and all-around citizen of the future Elon Musk to "The Late Show" Wednesday night, and the two discussed whether Musk "is sincerely trying to save the world" or has something far more nefarious in mind.

Musk countered that he's "just trying to do good things," but Colbert pressed ahead, noting that "you're trying to do good things and you're a billionaire, which is a little bit like a super hero or super villain -- you have to choose just one."

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"I just try to do useful things," Musk answered without really answering. As the conversation continued, Musk appeared to embrace his inner super villain, suggesting to Colbert that the "fast way" to make Mars hospitable to human colonization would be to "drop thermonuclear weapons on the poles."

"You're a super villain!" Colbert exclaimed. "Superman doesn't say, 'let's drop thermonuclear bombs,' that's Lex Luthor!"

The pair later discussed the means by which humans would reach Mars, including the prototype Falcon rocket, which very nearly landed on a drone ship out at sea earlier this year before exploding spectacularly.

Colbert asked how long it would be before people would be able to ride on rockets like the Falcon into space and back without fear of spectacularly exploding. "Two or three years," Musk replied.

Watch the entire interview below via CBS.

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Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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Elon Musk Late Show With Stephen Colbert Mars Space Exploration Stephen Colbert Video

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