Elon Musk Smoked Weed and Talked Electric Planes, A.I. and Flamethrowers on Joe Rogan's Podcast

The Tesla founder revealed how "Spaceballs" inspired his most infamous invention.
By Brandon Friederich ,

YouTube/PowerfulJRE

Elon Musk made a surprise appearance on comedian Joe Rogan's podcast Thursday night to discuss everything from Boring Company flamethrowers to electric planes and artificial intelligence...and even made time to smoke a joint and sip some whiskey.

At the top of the interview, Rogan immediately asked the the billionaire tech magnate about the origins of his fire-spewing device.

"We didn't put a lot of time into the flamethrower...and we have a merchandise section that only has one piece of merchandise at a time. We started off with a cap."

Soon after, the high-flying Tesla and SpaceX founder revealed that the idea came from the movie Spaceballs. 

"I'm a big fan of Spaceballs." Musk said. "In Spaceballs, Yogurt goes through the merchandising section, and they have a flamethrower. 'The kids love that one'—that's the line when he pulls up the flamethrower. I was like, 'We should do a flamethrower.'"

Rogan then asked if his idea received any push back.  

"It's a terrible idea," Musk added. "I said, 'Don't but this flamethrower. But still, people bought it." 

Tesla stock dipped 1.4 percent before U.S. exchanges opened, and CNBC reports that the value plummeted nine percent in the first hours of trading.  

"I'm getting text messages from friends saying, 'What the hell are you doing smoking weed?'" he said.

Musk explained he's a casual marijuana smoker because he "doesn't find it's very good for productivity." 

"It's like a cup of coffee in reverse," he said. 

The podcast appearance comes just 17 days after Musk scrapped an plan to buy out Tesla stockholders at $420 per share. Makes sense, right? 

Bloomberg has further details: 

Along the way, Musk drew a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission, which already had been scrutinizing the public pronouncements he’s made regarding manufacturing goals and sales targets.

Tesla and its CEO are now also facing a litany of lawsuits claiming market manipulation, including one filed Thursday by Andrew Left, the founder of Citron Research and prominent short seller.

“It’s very difficult to keep a car company alive,” Musk told Rogan.

Among many other topics, Musk described plans for an designing an electric plane.

“The trick is that you have to transition to level flight," he said. "The thing you’d use for vertical takeoff and landing is not suitable for high speed flight.” 

He went on to explain how the flying EV would be powered. 

”The interesting thing about an electric plane is that you want to go as high as possible, but you need a certain energy density in the battery pack, because you have to overcome gravitational potential energy," he said. 

"Once you’ve overcome gravitational potential energy and you’re at a high altitude, the energy you use in cruise is very low, and then you can recapture a large part of your gravitational potential energy on the way down. So you really don’t need any kind of reserve fuel.”

Musk also touched on a new A.I.-based business: 

CNN has further details: 

Musk said his efforts to merge the human brain with machines are making progress.

His venture Neuralink will have "something interesting" to announce in a few months that will be "an order of magnitude" ahead of what people currently think is possible, he said.

Neuralink aims to link humans to computers without a physical connection by implanting tiny electrodes into the brain.

Watch the full podcast below, it's fascinating stuff: 

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