Musk boosts his brand, and NBCUniversal's, on 'Saturday Night Live'

(Corrects word in quote in paragraph six, and spelling of mother's name in paragraph seven)

By Joseph White

DETROIT (Reuters) -Billionaire Elon Musk dropped a surprise early in his hotly anticipated turn as host of "Saturday Night Live," saying in his monologue that he "is the first person with Asperger's" to host the show, before clowning through skits for the first global livestream of the NBCUniversal comedy show.

Musk, one of the world's richest individuals, opened his monologue by telling an audience in more than 100 countries he is "the first person with Asperger's to host SNL. At least the first to admit it." The billionaire made light of his tendency to speak in a monotone, adding "I'm pretty good at running human in emulation mode."

Asperger syndrome is a condition on the autism spectrum that is associated with difficulty in social interaction, and sometimes is referred to as high functioning autism.

Comedian and Saturday Night Live alumni Dan Aykroyd has spoken in interviews about being diagnosed with a mild form of Asperger's. He hosted Saturday Night Live in 2003.