The McConaissance Awakens
By Sean O’Kane
If you’re reading this, you must have a pulse. If you have a pulse, I assume that means you’ve seen the new Star Wars trailer. If those two things are true, you must now watch this video of Matthew McConaughey reacting to the trailer (above). His strange cry-laughing perfectly represents the millions of voices that cried out yesterday on the internet when the trailer dropped, and it’s also now your favorite new meme.
Reaction videos have been around for years now, popularized by the wave of grandmas, Marines, and countless others watching “2 Girls, 1 Cup” for the first time. But the clip we see here is from Interstellar, a movie that came out almost six months ago. It blends the format of a pure reaction video with the essence of the Hitler Downfall meme — but surely YouTube user oskararnarson wasn’t the first to attempt this, right?
COULD THIS MEME REALLY BE NEW?
Right. A cursory search returns a “McConaughey Reacts” YouTube account that is home to eight videos, some as old as three months. They are mostly duds (Matthew McConaughey fails to complete Myst after playing for 20 years, Matthew McConaughey reacts to Katie Hopkins), ones that are mildly funny (Matthew McConaughey Reacts to Grape Stomping Lady, Matthew McConaughey Reacts to Keyboard Cat), and one that will ruin your sleep this weekend. One even breaks the “Matthew McConaughey Reacts” format with an Inception-style construct. That’s a bold creative choice considering almost nobody had seen the user’s other videos yet; as of publishing, all of the “Matthew McConaughey Reacts” videos have under 200 views.
And that’s how things tend to shake out on the internet. Whether or not you have a good idea, being first doesn’t always matter. The meme was merely in gestation with the “McConaughey Reacts” account. But when oskararnarson made McConaughey react to the Star Wars trailer, the meme emerged from the cyber womb: the video hit Reddit an hour after it was published, and now has almost 20,000 views, a number it will surely leave in the dust. It’s already inspiring others, too.
Is this the next Hitler’s Downfall meme? We can only hope so. The power rests in your hands, internet. Go forth, and may the McConaissance be with you.