The Best and Worst of Last Night’s ‘SNL’ with Matthew McConaughey


Matthew McConaughey hosted last night’s SNL for the first time in 14 years. His gift as a storyteller, something Lincoln Motor Company tried to bank on following the cult success of his role in True Detective, was on display during the show’s opening with an explanation about the origin of his famous catchphrase. Adele joins the episode for a rousing performance of “Hello” and “When We Were Young.” See how the British singer’s post-breakup ballad found its way into last evening’s sketches, below.

The Best

Fox & Friends: Syrian Refugee Crisis Cold Open

“Happy Thanksgiving, Jesus!” from the gang at Fox & Friends. The trio brings all the racism and xenophobia to the table for a discussion about Syria (confusing it with Siri) and Black Friday (“all Fridays matter”). Ben Carson is confused with Dr. Dre, and the Fox & Friends fact checker (Leslie Jones) is totally exasperated.

Matthew McConaughey Monologue

Listen to McConaughey’s story about how he came up with his catchphrase, “Alright, alright, alright,” during the filming of Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused. A refreshing opener.

A Thanksgiving Miracle

Adele’s “Hello” heals families.

3D Printer Man

McConaughey does a mean robot and seems to ad-lib this sketch that doesn’t pay off as much as it should — but the actor’s performance is fun to watch.

Star Wars Auditions

Jon Hamm (Hamm Solo is my new crush), Emma Stone, Michael Buble, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens cast members John Boyega and Daisy Ridley join together for a fun mock auditions sketch. Boyega takes aim at the racist comments about black stormtroopers. Stone references her controversial role as a part-Asian woman in the stinker Aloha. Impressions include Beck Bennett’s Javier Bardem, who can’t seem to get enough of his lightsaber penis, and Cecily Strong’s Sofia Vergara. Bobby Moynihan as Danny DeVito as BB-8 makes complete sense.

Weekend Update

Vanessa Bayer’s child news anchor who acts adorbs, but then segues into a morbid broadcast, is like every other pint-sized manic character she’s performed in the past — but it’s charming nonetheless.

The Worst

Blues Shack

A one-note joke that’s good for maybe three rounds, but loses steam. Kenan Thompson’s “pig wife” comment is cringy.

Should You Chime in On This?

SNL was on top of all the political and social discussions about the Syrian conflict and Isis, but perhaps illustrated their point about ignorant people a little too on-the-nose with this game show sketch. The game itself is a dead-end premise that doesn’t leave much room for anything else apart from some bland impressions of dumb Americans. Stay for the McConaughey rat-tail braid, though.

Right Side of the Bed With Matthew McConaughey

If you want to see McConaughey as one of several hickster characters he played throughout the evening, here with his fist up a turkey’s rear, then this one is for you, I guess.

Town Hall Meeting

McConaughey plays yet another yokel nutjob (with one hand). He disapproves of plans for a proposed high-speed railroad.

Musical Guest: Adele