On His 46th Birthday, Let’s Recall The Times Matthew McConaughey Won Your Heart

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If you have any doubts about Matthew McConaughey’s presence on the internet, let me remind you that he’s had a Venn diagram dedicated solely to him. Where’s the Venn diagram for Daniel Day-Lewis or Robert De Niro? There isn’t one. Case in point, the internet thinks Matthew McConaughey is more than alright, alright, alright — the internet loves McConaughey.

Unlike other internet kings and queens who have seemingly risen to the mountaintop of the interwebs from their first emergence in the public eye, McConaughey was just a regular good-looking Hollywood movie star for the longest time. Sure, he was famous in the ’90s and 2000s — when the internet was a very different place — but over the years, McConaughey’s philosophical surfer vibe has matured into a fine wine that we all like to get drunk on… a wine that he likes to pour. Anyway, here’s a look at Matthew McConaughey’s best internet moments on this, the day that his body turns 46.

Those Lincoln commercials.

Holy cow, does McConaughey know how to sell some cars! Fifteen years ago I’m not so sure people would have paid much attention to Matthew McConaughey in a car commercial, but his 2014 debut ad with Lincoln spawned remixes, think pieces, SNL sketches, and Lincoln sold a butt-load of cars. All the guy did was drive around in a few Lincolns, have an existential crisis, run across a bull, and the internet lost its mind.

He can create a frenzy with a 20-year old film clip.

It’s been 22 years since the world had its first formal introduction to Matthew McConaughey, and his role as Wooderson in Dazed and Confused is still by and large one of his most recognizable. You don’t see anybody slinging Fool’s Gold or Failure to Launch T-shirts, but even McConaughey will rock a Dazed and Confused tee. The point I’m getting at is, when his Dazed and Confused audition tape found its way to YouTube back in January it was pretty much the biggest thing on the web that week.

How McConaughey came up with Wooderson’s famous catchphrase is an equally good gem.

He’s become the new go-to celebrity impression.

Every few years a celebrity comes along who has a manner of speaking that is so distinct that the rest of the world can’t help but laugh and say ‘Hey, listen to this guy talk.” For what seemed like decades the go-to celebrity impression was Christopher Walken and William Shatner, then Matt Damon went on Letterman and changed all that forever. McConaughey is the popular celebrity impression of the moment; there’s no shortage of people eager to bust out a few McConaughisms of their own. Kate Hudson, Breckin Meyer, Zac Efron, Anne Hathaway, etc. If you can inspire dozens of people to try to imitate your natural way of speaking, you’re definitely doing something right.

His award show speeches.

Theory: Matthew McConaughey KNEW that he would begin a career renaissance in 2011 and decidedly spent the previous decade making bombs to allow himself time to prepare amazing awards speeches. How else does one explain his numerous awards speeches that had the media abuzz the next day? Sheer charisma and unabashed confidence? It has to be something more. The guy has been collecting all sorts of trophies the past few years and whether it’s the Oscars, the Critics Choice Awards, or the Golden Globes, the man never fails to out-speech every other famous person.

Dude even takes his gift for speaking to NFL locker rooms.

That Wolf of Wall Street chest thump remix.

McConaughey’s screen time in The Wolf of Wall Street wasn’t even 10 minutes out of the three-hour drama, yet he managed to appear in every trailer and produced one of its most memorable scenes. His chest thump pep talk gave us one of the movie’s goofier moments and resulted in Eclectic Method’s wonderful Chest Thump Remix.

His gift of Rust Cohle to the world.

Is Rust Cohle the greatest TV character of the last 10 years? Err, I’m not sure about that, but he’s without a doubt the greatest mustachioed, Lone Star-drinking, beer can-man-making, Texas cop to emerge out of 2014. True Detective gave us a complex character that had been forever changed by the wickedness of the world and the internet took that character and parodied the sh*t out of it. Rust Cohle memes, Rust Cohle spoofs, Rust Cohle Halloween costumes — it’s safe to say that Rust owned TV in 2014. How many Ray Velcoros did you spot at your Halloween festivities last weekend?

His contributions to GIF culture.

Like the many internet champions that have come before him, McConaughey has made many delightful GIf contributions to the internet.

Okay, I didn’t intend on all of the examples being Magic Mike GIFs, it just worked out that way. It’s a beautiful thing.