Zuck on SNL: 'Smart' P.R. Move by the Facebook Founder

Zuckerberg meets his "evil twin" on Saturday Night Live

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By now, everyone has an opinion about Mark Zuckerberg meeting actor Jesse Eisenberg. If you haven't seen it yet, yes, the rumored confrontation between Aaron Sorkin's Zuck and the actual Facebook founder did indeed happen on Saturday Night Live. After interrupting an Eisenberg monologue, Zuckerberg proceeded to stand there with his "evil twin" before making scripted small talk about how "interesting" the Oscar-front-running film was. Awkwardness aside, it appears that the meeting went over as well as to be expected. And from a P.R. standpoint, it was probably one of the "smartest" things that the Facebook founder could do (it couldn't have hurt The Social Network's Oscar chances either), say commentators.

The Wire just has one lingering question about the momentous event: "If you land Mark Zuckerberg for a walk on, shouldn't you let him do something more interesting than announcing the musical guest?"

  • Zuck Was Happy to Be There and that appears enough to be a win for Geekosystem's Jamie Frevele. He wasn't "smug," and wasn't "trying to be too cool." Instead, "Zuckerberg was so psyched to be there. Was he going to dazzle us with unexpected comic timing? No. Of course not. But he was going to get the chance to come on TV--on a comedy show that has made fun of him before, no less--and prove that he's not the character Jesse Eisenberg created in The Social Network."
  • 'Smartest Thing Zuckerberg Has Done, Publicity-wise' figures Linda Holmes at NPR, ""in quite some time." She observes: "If the appearance operated as a comment on the fairness of the movie version of Zuckerberg invented by screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, it did so by demonstrating that while the real Zuckerberg's awkwardness is obviously real, it contains an element of genuine attempts at affability and silliness, where the movie Zuckerberg is almost uniformly surly and flat."
  • Laughing All the Way To the Bank  Blogging at Credit Writedowns, Edward Harrison notes: "No wonder Zuckerberg is up for a good laugh. Facebook’s stock price has gone up seven-fold over the last year on the secondary exchange SharesPost. Facebook is now allegedly worth over $80 billion on the back of new ads like this that turn your Facebook check-ins into money. Pretty funny, eh?"
  • Eisenberg Had a Good Time, Too  When E! Online caught up with the Social Network star and asked about the appearance, he responded congenially: "No, it was wonderful," Eisenberg said. "I was so happy that he agreed to do it. I could imagine this must be a strange experience, to have a movie made about your life."

Some other quick takes:

  • Nikki Finke - "Kinda cool PR stunt for the Oscar contender."
  • Time's Techland - "While the relationship between Zuckerberg and filmmakers behind The Social Network, now an Academy Awards' Best Picture nominee, was undeniably tense around the time of the film's release, both sides seem to have lightened up"
  • Mediaite - "Though the Facebook founder is clearly no great comedian, it was kind of trippy to see the nerd trio that Eisenberg, Zuckerberg and Samberg formed on stage."
  • Forbes - "No word yet from Zuckerberg about what he thought of meeting Eisenberg. He hasn’t updated his Facebook page since the weekend."

[H/T: Slatest]

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.