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The Matthew McConaughey-hosted episode of Saturday Night Live continued the discussion of Syrian refugees, aired special Star Wars: The Force Awakens spoof auditions introduced by J.J. Abrams and celebrated the healing power of Adele’s music.
The show’s cold open, a parody of Fox & Friends, featured SNL castmembers continuing the debate on Syrian refugees being allowed into the U.S., in light of the recent Paris attacks. A video shown of Syrian refugees attempting to enter the U.S. actually was revealed as aggressive Wal-Mart shoppers on Black Friday.
“I’m told that’s not actually Syrian refugees. It’s Wal-Mart shoppers on Black Friday,” joked Taran Killam.
The segment also featured guest “Ben Carson,” who was impersonated by castmember Jay Pharoah in the sleepy and calm manner that has been used to describe the Republican presidential candidate. Carson added to the refugee discussion with possible tactics that could be used to weed out terrorists, such as only allowing those to enter who “eat bacon and sing Christmas carols.”
When Dr. Carson was introduced as a doctor, Bobby Moynihan added that Carson was “straight outta Compton,” only to be told that he confused the Republican candidate with Dr. Dre. Added Carson: “I’m like a koala bear. On the outside, I seem nice, but on the inside, I’ve never held elective office.”
The sounds of SNL‘s special performer, Adele, were featured in many of the night’s sketches, including a Thanksgiving video in which her song “Hello” brought a family together. McConaughey played a grandfather engaged in Thanksgiving discussion with his family when a debate concerning Syrian refugees suddenly sparked heated arguments across the table. Everyone’s political views suddenly softened as soon as Adele’s “Hello” was played in the room.
When the song was turned off, the family went back to arguing across the table, but every time the song was turned back on, each member of the family embraced each other with joy and started to resemble Adele’s look in her “Hello” music video, with features including her blond hair and painted nails. The words: “Everyone has different opinions and beliefs. But there’s one thing that unites us all” flashed across the screen during the video, in reference to Adele’s music.
George Takei also performed his own rendition of the hit song while promoting his Broadway musical Allegiance. Takei sang the lyrics, “I was wondering if you’d like to meet on Broadway,” in a fake advertisement.
With the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens less than a month away, a pretaped segment featured J.J. Abrams introducing a round of spoofed auditions for roles in the anticipated film, with appearances by John Boyega and Daisy Ridley. Castmembers impersonated stars, such as Sofia Vergara (Cecily Strong), Chris Rock and John Mayer, who read for various roles including Chewbacca and Han Solo. Boyega was shown auditioning for the role of Finn and joked, “Ha ha ha, a black stormtrooper? Yeah, right.”
The show marked the first time McConaughey had returned to host since 2003. McConaughey opened the show by assuring the audience it would go “OK, OK, OK.” After the actor stated he knew audiences were waiting for him to say his signature line — “all right, all right, all right” — he proceeded to tell the story of how he made the words famous in his first acting role, as David Wooderson in Dazed and Confused (1993).
“Wooderson is about four things: cars weed, rock ‘n’ roll and chicks,” explained McConaughey while describing when he filmed his first scene, in which he reacted to a pretty girl who was walking up to him in his car. “I look up across the drive-through at this redhead intellectual. I said, ‘Buddy, you got three out of four.’ I go, ‘All right, all right, all right.’ “
After a show full of sketches set to Adele’s hit song, the singer performed a flawless version of “Hello” along with “When We Were Young” from her latest album, 25.
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