WATCH: On SNL, Matthew McConaughey Explains The Origins of His Catchphrase

The Oscar-winner originally only had a few lines in Dazed and Confused.


Matthew McConaughey brought his chill southern vibe to the SNL stage on Saturday. The star used his opening monologue to finally give a little background on  the simple repeated word that has become inextricably linked with his voice and laid-back delivery ever since he made his cinematic debut in director Richard Linklater’s 1993 hit about coming of age in the 70s, Dazed and Confused

McConaughey decided to forego the usually painful attempt by non-comedian SNL ​hosts to be funny and simply told a story, which he called, “At the right bar at the right time.” He then explained how shooting the bull in an Austin bar somehow led to him being cast as college-age stoner David Wooderson in Dazed. McConaughey hadn’t done much acting at the time (though his turn on Unsolved Mysteries as a murder victim was pretty memorable), but director Linklater immediately liked him in the role and it sounds like he had some solid instincts. 

Wooderson’s scene was supposed to be about him hitting on an intellectual redheaded girl, and McConaughey said he considered what his character’s basic motivations probably were: “‘Wooderson’s about four things,” thought McConaughey, “He’s about cars, weed, rock ‘n’ roll, and chicks.'” So:

I look around, where I am, well I’m in my 70s Chevelle. That’s one. I’ve got Slater riding shotgun, so I’m definitely getting high, that’s two. And we’ve got Ted Nugent playing “Stranglehold” on the 8-track, well that’s three (. . .) At this point I hear over the intercom, ‘Action!’ And I look up across the drive-through at this redheaded intellectual and I say to myself, ‘Buddy, you got three out of four. Alright, alright, alright!’

Of course mere text doesn’t convey McConaughey’s sense of timing and fun, watch the video for the fullest effect.

Photos by NBC / NBCUniversal / Getty