SNL Review: Was Matthew McConaughey funny?

Matthew McConaughey hosted SNL this weekend, but was everything ‘alright, alright, alright’?

We have reached the end of the next section of SNL episodes his season, and it was up to Matthew McConaughey to send us into the Thanksgiving break on a high note. While it wasn’t a perfect show, and a downgrade from last week’s near perfect hosting duty from Elizabeth Banks, McConaughey still brought it.

McConaughey’s hosting duty was about everything you’d expect from the actor at this stage in his career. While he hosted the show 14 years ago back in 2001, he was still a rising star at the time and couldn’t wing it like he’s been doing so much in his career lately.

That’s not a slight against the McConaug-sauce either. He simply brought a Devil May Care sort of flippancy to the show that worked in a weird way while also being something that could turn folks off. We saw examples of this in his 3D Clone sketch, where the funniest bit was watching the actor go off the rails with his dancing.

Overall, SNL has ended it’s first six episodes with more firms landings than we’ve seen in the past to start seasons. This weekend’s show with McConaughey was another entry into that collection of fine episodes the series has managed to put together, even if it wasn’t totally perfect.

SNL/NBC

SNL Rundown…

1. The cold open wasn’t as hot as we may have wanted. We were given another edition of the Fox & Friends parody which is hit and miss. The only upside was the tail end where Jay Pharaoh brought back his Ben Carson impression for the world to enjoy. Other than that, it was as pedestrian as it gets.

2. Matthew McConaughey took the ‘monologue’ part of this opening monologue very true to heart. He told the origin story of where he came up with his alright, alright, alright catchphrase. It was more of an anecdote than a monologue but for the first time in SNL history, we came away from the monologue with knowledge.

3The first two sketches of the night were so-so, with the 3D Clone sketch falling dead flat in a pretty predictable way. It was a one note sketch that didn’t have much in the way of payoffs, and the redundancy didn’t work the way we would have hoped. Seeing McConaughey play a robot dancing was amusing enough to make the sketch not a total bomb. 4.  To celebrate the final push before Star Wars The Force Awakens comes out, the Star Wars auditions were brought back with great success. One of the best parts was Bobby Moynihan playing George Lucas in a hilarious troll that needs to come back in the weeks leading up to the movie’s release. 

5. Not only did Moynihan nail George Lucas, but he turned in a hilariously bizarre and dopey Danny DeVito. It was the kind of quick cut gut bust that made us fall in love with Moynihan in the first place.

6. Jon Boyega cameoed to make fun of all the hate aimed at the idea that he’s playing a black Stormtrooper in The Force Awakens.

7. Vanessa Bayer played it during the Weekend Update, specifically with one of the best HIV jokes you’ll hear in a while. It was a gut buster thanks to the hilarious timing that Bayer has in her child star actor bit.

8. Michael Che and Colin Jost were once again the best part about SNL this week. Jost landed a lethal Jared Fogle joke, which Che brilliantly defended when it was inexplicably booed.

9. SNL tried to get weird with a new game show idea, Should You Chime In On This, which worked to a mild effect. It was a bit too obvious in the way it trolled stupid people, and the biting social satire we’ve seen this season has set the bar higher than this. It wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t the best either.

10. We can’t talk about this week’s SNL and not talk about how awesome Adele is. She came on for a pair of chilling performances, but let us know through her expressions that she’s not as depressing as her broken hearted love songs suggest.

Verdict

This wasn’t going to be an instant classic heading into things, which is something we thought when Tracy Morgan hosted a few months ago and when Elizabeth Banks dropped by last week. McConaughey is a different breed altogether, and he brought that weirdness of his to the show in both positive and negative ways.

While not an instant classic — as sketches like the 3D Clone and Should You Chime In fell flatter than we would have liked — it was still a solid outing to head into the holiday week with. He was zany, he was mostly charming and he was exactly what we thought he’d be as host — McConaughey.

Next Week on SNL…

Now that we’re six episodes into the SNL season, it’s time for another break. The Thanksgiving weekend will mean no new Saturday Night Live, but the show is returning on what should be a hit when Ryan Gosling comes to Studio H along with musical guest Leon Bridges.

In place of a new show next weekend, there will be a re-run of the Tracy Morgan/Demi Lavato show from the first leg of this season.

Date: Saturday, December 5th
Start Time: 11:30pm ET
Host: Ryan Gosling
Musical Guest: Leon Bridges
TV: NBC
Live Stream: Hulu

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