Elon Musk hosts PewDiePie's meme review in ongoing T-Series battle

YouTube's most subscribed channel calls in a big gun: Elon Musk -- and he's brought a friend.

Jackson Ryan Former Science Editor
Jackson Ryan was CNET's science editor, and a multiple award-winning one at that. Earlier, he'd been a scientist, but he realized he wasn't very happy sitting at a lab bench all day. Science writing, he realized, was the best job in the world -- it let him tell stories about space, the planet, climate change and the people working at the frontiers of human knowledge. He also owns a lot of ugly Christmas sweaters.
Jackson Ryan
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This must be what an internet fever dream feels like.

Elon Musk , SpaceX and CEO, teased back on Jan. 27 that he was open to hosting Meme Review, a recurring video series hosted by YouTube personality Felix Kjellberg on his channel, PewDiePie.

Now this absurd internet crossover has become a reality with PewDiePie uploading a video Thursday titled "Will Smith hosts Meme Review" featuring the Tesla and SpaceX CEO. 

Over the last few months, PewDiePie has been locked in a battle to hold onto the title of the video streaming platform's "Most Subscribed". His only rival is Indian music platform T-Series, which has been trailing PewDiePie by fewer than 100,000 subscribers for the past month. Spurred by the attention the race has been getting, PewDiePie recently surpassed 86 million subscribers, but T-Series remains close behind.

PewDiePie's new reinforcements might open up a bigger gap than ever before.

Musk also brought a guest along: Rick and Morty mastermind Justin Roiland. The two are featured in the back half of the video, from 13:30 onward, discussing the hilariousness of various memes including one about the Queen and debating whether or not you would step on Stuart Little for a grand sum of money.

Musk is no stranger to the YouTube scene; his infamous interview on the Joe Rogan podcast where he smoked weed landed him in some hot water with NASA. Aligning with PewDiePie, who has stirred controversy in recent times, seems like it could end in disaster, but in equal measure, it also seems like a perfect fit.

Musk has deftly commanded attention from journalists, fans and detractors alike for his use of Twitter, even capturing the eye of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey , who has lauded Musk as the one of the service's most influential users. That is, despite calling a diver during the Thai Cave rescue in 2018 a "pedo guy" and tweeting that he was taking Tesla private, which spurred an investigation by the SEC. He's brash and unfiltered -- so we might have to wait and see whether the meme review tweet holds true in a few days' time.

2019 on the internet is a fever dream, and I'm not sure how we wake up.

For its part, T-Series has just quietly gone about its business, amassing a staggering 86 million subscribers on its own. While some question the legitimacy of those followers, as of writing, the channel trails PewDiePie by just over 10,000 subscribers. Have Musk and Roiland changed PewDiePie's fate? Momentarily. The most likely scenario though, is that his fall from the top spot, like a SpaceX Crew Dragon launch, has only been delayed, ever so slightly.

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Originally posted on Feb. 18

Updated on Feb. 23 1:45 p.m. PT: Added Elon Musk and Roiland hosting video