SNL McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey Hosts SNL: Watch Video of Best/Worst Sketches

Like a supermarket shopper eyeing the half-priced sushi on a Monday night, I approached this week’s Saturday Night Live with some concerns about its freshness.

After all, the Matthew McConaughey-hosted episode represented the third consecutive SNL installment in three weeks — leaving me to wonder if (following Donald Trump and Elizabeth Banks’ outings) the show’s writing staff might run dry solid punchlines and inventive ideas.

The good news? Things started out strong with an excellent cold open, a cute (if not hilarious) monologue and an pre-taped Adele-centric Thanksgiving interlude that was damn near perfect. Also, while we’re on the subject of the British chanteuse/musical guest, her renditions this week of “Hello” and “When We Were Young” were breathtaking.

Unfortunately, the episode fizzled out in the final third — even though we were spared a dubious Kyle Mooney short. Whether or not you felt the same way, let’s dive into my picks for the week’s best and worst (sorry, the Star Wars screen test didn’t make the cut for me — too many promising cameos and setups, not nearly enough payoff):

A little girl keeps the peace at Thanksgiving by playing Adele’s “Hello” every time an argument begins to percolate — an act that sends them all into sepia-hued, eyelash-tastic fits of lip synching. Here’s hoping the group ballad means Aunt Kathy’s racist remark to visiting boyfriend Jay Pharoah (“Why do your friends keep antagonizing the police?!”) doesn’t get revisited ’til Christmas.

I’ll admit I was a little bummed we didn’t get the usual fast-foward laundry list of corrections in this spoof of Fox News Channel’s a.m. talker. But no matter, as this sketch featured stinging punch lines (“All Fridays matter!” yelled Vanessa Bayer, portraying an Elisabeth Hasselbeck offended by the mention of Black Friday) and unabashed goofballery (“Hey, Syria, locate the nearest bathroom!” bumbled Bobby Monynihan’s wonderfully dim Brian Kilmeade into his iPhone).

Ugh… once again, SNL leaned on its overused crutch — the faux game show — and this time with utterly uninspired results. Kenan Thompson drifted his way through the sketch as host Allen DeGeneres, presenting conversationally charged topics to a trio of doltish adults, then seeing if any of ’em would correctly answer “No” to the titular question. Too bad the writers forgot to include even a single clever or unpredictable tweak to this low-concept bit.

McConaughey didn’t bring much oomph to the night’s closing sketch, in which his village-idiot character berated a town board for considering an Amtrak high-speed train in their village. Maybe this sketch was designed to send us all to sleep?

Your turn. What did you think of this week’s SNL? Take our poll below, then sound off in the comments! (We’ll post video as soon as it’s available on Sunday a.m.)

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Et al. says:

    My favorite was the Star Wars screen tests.

  2. Typo in the second paragraph. You’re missing an “of.”

  3. Maggie says:

    I give it a B, if only for Adele and the Star Wars screen-tests.

  4. Kent C says:

    Keenan is in everything and can get repetitive but I thought his Dominican Shtick on the News was one of his best and frankly probably the best thing of the night. The SW thing was 2nd but even that could have been improved.

    • liame says:

      I totally agree with you on both. But for some reason I find Keenan funny regardless of his some what boring sketches at times on SNL. It’s weird to me how I find him funny regardless of the not so funny sketches. It probably has a lot to do with with his facial expressions and demeanor when he delivers his lines. It’s like when you and your best friend have an inside joke that only the two of you understand. I don’t know this person from Adam (that’s a saying) but I really enjoy his performances.

    • Ann VerWiebe says:

      He really nailed David Ortiz.

  5. Bjohns says:

    I think the Star Wars screen tests deserved an honorable mention. Bobby as George Lucas. “Bring me a Coke Zero” the cameos were cool too.

  6. Discer says:

    Too much unbalanced political slant: heavy-handedness became elitist and condescending.

    • Concerned American says:

      Conservatives whine about how everyone is an elitist now like good sheep repeating the Fox talking point of the day. The real elitists are mostly old white republicans but they think anyone with a High School diploma and a double wide is elitist now.

    • S. says:

      How is it elitist to make fun of the people in power (both in Congress and economically which is what this is when you’ve got billionaires fighting it out in elections and on cable news)? If anything, you’re the elitist here. It’s their show, they have a right to speak. The obligation of comedy is not even-handedness and ‘Don’t make fun of The Man’ is not a thing. That’s pretty much Fox News you’re describing. Heavy handed is ‘too much of something I don’t believe’ apparently because I’d love to see a list of things they’ve supported Obama on ever–they’re seriously suggesting he’s wrong all day every day on everything? It’s hard to find anybody who meets that description. The Republican candidates are the ones making the most noise right now and Trump and Carson are ridiculous. How can you not make fun of that? Lorne Michaels has said something along the lines that when they direct this stuff at Republicans, they tend to take a joke better than the Democrats. I’m sure that has some impact on what they do. They’ve pretty much hit the stuff you can make fun of with Hillary and Bernie. They can give you more sketches but it won’t have new angles so I dunno what you want there. Trump gives new material on a daily basis.

    • John jones says:

      Have to agree about the one sided political slant. It used to be that SNL made fun of anyone and everyone and they were pretty dead on at times. Now it’s all one way, bland, and safe.

  7. colig says:

    they need to use moynihan and killam more and get rid of that unfunny no talent waste mooney.

  8. Mr. Tran K says:

    I give the McConaughey episode of SNL a B. The Star Wars screen tests was the best as does the Fox and Friends cold open. Overall, decent episode but not as great than last week’s Elizabeth Banks showing and I still can’t stand Kyle Mooney at all. Don’t know how Ryan Gosling would fare when SNL returns in two weeks. One final note: Adele was great.

  9. Sara says:

    Anyone else notice that Amanda Brown from The Voice season 3 (and who was subsequently robbed of a win) was singing background for Adele?

  10. Dj says:

    The females continue to outshine the men on this show and are much funnier.

  11. Ann says:

    Adele and Star Wars were the best. Honorable goes to McConaughey’s great portrayal of Bruce, the 3-D printed man…even though the skit itself wasn’t that funny…McConaughey was funny in it. I loved his dance.

  12. hbeachman says:

    I disliked the Adele Thanksgiving sketch, the one a couple of years ago that used office workers singing “Someone Like You” was much better. With last night’s sketch the way that everyone morphed into Adele lookalikes and elements of the “Hello” video were recreated pushed it into over-the-top territory. SNL writers have a lot of trouble with the concept of less is more.

    • liame says:

      I never saw the office sketch, but watching this sketch brought some laughter and understanding that we as humans need, if just for a few minutes. I can’t keep leaving my house everyday hating on people who happen to share the same religion, skin tone and gender of those racist bigoted animals out there who have no regard for human life.

  13. Ashley says:

    I agree that the Fox and Friends sketch was the best, but I also liked Should You Chime In On This. I found it quite amusing.

  14. Tom says:

    Pretty much my take on things, I also really enjoyed the BioCrunch sketch

  15. Ann VerWiebe says:

    I thought Weekend Update was really funny this week! Vanessa Bayer’s overly enthusiastic, community theatre teen singing the news made me laugh out loud.

  16. Susan Marchi says:

    The “Should You Chime in on This” sketch nailed all the know it all commenters on threads…by far, not one of the worst.

  17. Christian says:

    Should I chime in on the episode of SNL? NO