Friday, December 4, 2015

SNL 41.6 Review - Matthew McConaughey, Adele

Original Airdate - 11/21/15

Just looking at that combination of host and musical guest, this looks like a powerhouse episode.  Matthew McConaughey is one of the hottest names going right now in Hollywood.  He has hosted before, but that was back in his romantic comedy hunk phase.  Now he is in his critically-acclaimed phase.  He can still be funny though.  As for Adele, nothing needs to be said.  So would the episode live up to the hype?  No ... no it could not...

Cold Opening

One of the more consistently entertaining segments SNL does right now is the Fox & Friends parody, partially because to exaggerate an already crazy concept, they have to completely fall off their rocker.  It makes for great cold openings.  This segment featured Dr. Ben Carson, brought to you by Jay Pharaoh, who completely nails the uncomfortably calm demeanor of the presidential hopeful.  However, the whole sketch was ruined when they cut the best part of the sketch every time.  At the end of every sketch, they run a list of ridiculous mistakes they have made so far in the show.  This is one of the funniest and most creative moments SNL has right now.  This time, they decided to cut this rolling scroll of one-liners in favor of yet another clip of Leslie Jones yelling at the camera.  Leslie Jones is funny, but she could have yelled at the camera in another sketch.  By putting it here, it ruined the sketch.


I realized something from this monologue.  I would listen to Matthew McConaughey tell stories all day long.  He is going to make a great old man one day.  For his monologue, they simply send him out on stage to tell the story of the origin of his catchphrase, "All right, all right, all right."  Any time you can reference Dazed and Confused and Wooderson, it's a good day.  It was a fascinating story also.  It shows that a good monologue doesn't have to be an elaborate monologue.  More times than not, the opposite is true.

Weekend Update

To celebrate Thanksgiving, Colin and Michael decide to be in the giving mood by each writing a joke for the other one.  If you watch Weekend Update at all, you know Che rolls his eyes at most of Jost's punny punchlines, while Jost just doesn't have the guts to say what Che says.  Only two guests on Weekend Update this week.  First, we have a character brought back from a random sketch a couple seasons ago.  Vanessa Bayer is way too good at being a little kid.  She comes on as a child actor to read a few headlines and picks the most gruesome and morbid headlines to focus on.  It's not a great bit, but it wasn't bad either.  The star of this Update was David Ortiz, brought to you by Kenan Thompson.  Big Papi recently announced he would be retiring after the 2016 season, so the guys brought him on to discuss it.  What happened next sounded nothing like David Ortiz, but it was hilarious.

Best Sketch

As far as sketches go, this episode was pretty lackluster, which was disappointing with a talent like Matthew McConaughey in the building.  The best sketch was a prerecorded bit that used a concept I feel the show has used before back in the day.  It focused on a family getting together at the holidays that can't find a topic of conversation without arguing.  There is only one thing that can bring this holiday gathering together: Adele.

Worst Sketch

There were several candidates for this spot with as many sketches falling short.  The worst of these sketches was this game show called "Should I Chime In On This?"  The host would give a headline from the news of a controversial topic while loudmouth, uninformed contestants decide if they should chime in on this.  The host even says, the correct answer is always no.  However, the contestants can't help themselves.  It was a very interesting concept, and very telling of where our society is right now.  However, in execution the sketch just fell flat and wasn't funny at all.

Dark Horse Sketch

Usually, I take the Dark Horse Sketch from the post-Weekend Update portion of the show.  However, all those were terrible this episode so I picked a sketch that felt like it should have been in that portion that was pretty funny.  The premise was they have invented a 3D printer that could make a man.  They had three men on stage to try and show how their printed man blended in with other men.  This was one of the few sketches that showed McConaughey's true comedic ability, mainly his capacity for physical comedy.  It was fun.

I was hoping for such great things out of this episode.  I am a big Matthew McConaughey fan as he has shown he can pretty much do anything.  However, this SNL episode showed something he hasn't shown in quite some time; not comedy, but failure.  There were some decent moments, but this episode overall just didn't work.  I will say it was better than Donald Trump's episode, but that's not saying much.  Outside of Weekend Update, the monologue, and Adele belting out her latest music, the rest of the episode was pretty forgettable.


View the full episode here:

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