Matthew McConaughey proved live comedy was another of his abilities as an actor on last night's Saturday Night Live.
Never trained as a comedian, McConaughey decided to forego the opening monologue and instead tell the audience how his infamous "alright, alright, alright" line from Dazed and Confused came to be.
McConaughey said he secured the role by being in the right place at the right time. A producer approached him about being in Richard Linklater's cult movie at a bar and McConaughey agreed to the job.
When the time came for McConaughey to say the line — which was improvised — he was thinking about the four things he'd need to pull the character off: rock music, an essence of cool, some weed and a pretty girl to flirt with. Right before he said the line, McConaughey realized he had three out of four, and as he looked into the distance, saw a "pretty little red head" that he could approach, and let out an, "alright, alright, alright."
The audience ate up the story, and it was one of the more solid monologues the show's had this season. It also set the tone for the night, with McConaughey soaring through every sketch with flying colors.
There were other highlights to the show, including a guest appearance by the cast of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in a hilarious digital short, as well as a sketch about when people should be allowed to chime in on controversial issues.
The episode also showcased two amazing performances from Adele, who recently released her album 25, the follow-up to 21, her record-breaking album from 2012.
Despite the show's overall success, there were still weak spots. Colin Jost and Michael Che have been trying to reconfigure the Weekend Update formula for the past couple of weeks and last night's segment took a particularly strange turn. This episode also brought back a blues segment with Keenan Thompson, and although the jokes were well written, it didn't connect with the audience as have other musical sketches.
Here's the report card for last night's SNL:
Best sketch: Star Wars Auditions
Backed by cameos from the stars of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the fake audition tape showcased the best of the SNL cast's impersonation chops. From David Beckham kicking BB-8 across the room to Sofia Vergara yelling at Daisy Ridley, the SNL cast shined with a wide variety of personas.
Some of the better ones included a confused Maggie Smith and a desperate Danny DeVito, but an awkward audition from Jon Hamm — actually him, not an impersonator — for the role of "Hamm Solo" was also a highlight.
The best moment came from John Boyega, who howled with laughter at the idea of a black stormtrooper before realizing that Abrams had actually written the part. It made light of the ludicrous "war on white people" controversy that kicked up on the Internet a month ago, and insulted the idea that Star Wars' casting decisions are controversial in the first place, without sacrificing any comedic value.
Runner up: Should You Chime In On This
The game show sketch tackled the problem with internet anonymity and people offering their opinion on something they know little to nothing about.
Staying true to the theme of addressing controversial issues head-on, one topic was the Syrian refugee crisis and reaction from some American states that rejecting them was the best way to keep the country safe.
Throughout the sketch, host Keenan Thompson tells everyone the correct answer to whether they should chime in or not is, of course, no, but that doesn't stop the contestants (Aidy Bryant, McConaughey and Kyle Mooney) from giving their opinions anyway.
It was one of the smarter sketches and dealt with the subject better than anyone else on the late night circuit this week.
Best McConaughey performance: 3D Printer Man
It's hard to pick a best performance sketch for McConaughey because he shined in every single one, but his portrayal of a robotic, 3D printed man was the most gut-busting.
It was funny, but even more it was a stellar four-minute piece of acting, with McConaughey's emphasis on physical comedy (his dancing and walking) making SNL star Taran Killam look amateurish in comparison.
It's the type of acting that could secure the True Detective star another Emmy nomination, but this time for a guest appearance role on the variety program.
Worst sketch: Blues Shack
Ever since John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd teamed up as the Blues Brothers in the 1970s, SNL has tried to make sketches about different blues bands work time and time again. None of them have connected with the audience or bring the laughs the writers are looking for. Last night's example was no different.
While the cast — especially Thompson and McConaughey — hit their mark and did a fine job with the character they were given, the jokes were too niche for the program.
Maybe if the sketch had been brought in toward the end of the episode the audience would have responded a little better, but it was too close to the top of the show.
Most emotional: Adele
Adele was basically Adele. Her performance was stellar and provided a more intimate feeling in an otherwise standard studio.
It's easy to get distracted during the musical guest performances, but Adele commanded attention with strong performances of "Hello" and "When We Were Young."
SNL is off for the Thanksgiving weekend, but will returns for a three-week run leading up to Christmas. Ryan Gosling is set to host the Dec. 4 episode, with Leon Bridges accompanying him as musical guest.