- November 26, 2020

Reasons We’re Thankful for Matthew McConaughey


What better time to recognize an Austinite we are so very thankful for: the Minister of Culture himself, Matthew McConaughey!

There are oh, so many reasons to give thanks for this Oscar winning, bongo playing, smooth talking Texan but we took on the difficult task and narrowed it down to just 10 reasons.

Here’s why we’re thankful for Matthew McConaughey.

That time the Oscar winner himself gave UT students a safe ride home. 

Back in 2016, McConaughey made sure that a group of our beloved Horns got home safely, giving them a surprise lift as part of the school’s Sure Walk program.

When he told GMA that his mama is the reason he lives in Austin.

In 2017, MM appeared on “Good Morning America“ and sat down with ABC’s Peter Travers to talk about why he moved his family to Austin. “My mother is there, the rest of my family is there,” he said. “I just feel at home there.”

When he brings his mom to, well, everything!

We’ve crossed paths with Matthew’s mama many times over the years because she’s always in tow. We spotted her at the SXSW screening of Mud, the Austin premiere of Bernie, and, most recently, the AFS screening of White Boy Rick. His wife Camila frequently features “Ma Mac” on her instagram page, hashtagging the videos “#adventureswithmymotherinlaw.”

That infamous bongo playing incident.

In October 1999, the then up-and-coming 29-year-old actor was arrested after a Tarrytown neighbor called the police with a noise complaint. What happened next will live in infamy.

He can now officially be called Professor McConaughey.

The University of Texas Moody College of Communication announced in August that McConaughey is now a professor of practice in the Department of Radio-Television-Film. The Oscar winner had served as a visiting instructor since 2015. Not long after the announcement, the IG holdout joined the social media platform. Do we think the students had some influence on that?

Cheering on the Horns from the sidelines at Darrell K Royal Stadium.

The self proclaimed Minister of Culture is often seen on the sidelines of UT football games. He also appeared on “ESPN’s College Gameday” earlier this season. But our favorite moment was when he lead this mean Wolf of Wall Street inspired warm up chant.

That time he and Jimmy Kimmel made a commercial for Vulcan Video.

During SXSW 2015, late night host Jimmy Kimmel came to town and chose to put some heat on a local business, which is awful nice of him. He couldn’t have picked a better spot than Vulcan Video. What’s better, he brought along McConaughey, who engaged in some self-effacing schtick poking fun at his popular-but-easily-parodied Lincoln ads.

When he coined a new city slogan on Jimmy Fallon.

When Jimmy Fallon brought “The Tonight Show” to Texas for his first college roadshow, his guest was, of course, Professor McConaughey. Asked why he chooses to live in Austin, McConaughey talked about the many reasons people are welcome in the ATX where “nobody is too good and everybody is good enough.” And what about those who don’t respect our value and core soul? “Please keep on flyin’. Drive on by,” he exclaimed. He went on to unveil his new slogan for the city – “Keep Austin Austin!”

The way he gives back.

Matthew McConaughey and his wife Camila established The Just Keep Livin Foundation as a way to encourage high school students to engage in healthy and helpful behaviors. Additionally, McConaughey is one third of Mack, Jack & McConaughey (MJ&M), an organization he helms with ACM Award-winning recording artist Jack Ingram, and ESPN analyst and Texas coaching legend Mack Brown. You can read more about Austin celebs who give back here.

The time he bought yours truly a drink at the east side bar Liberty.

In 2010, I happened to cross paths with my favorite famous Austinite at The Liberty in East Austin. While attempting to get to the bar to order a drink, McConaughey stepped in front of me and blocked my access. As he chatted with patrons at the bar, I promptly tapped him on the shoulder and boldly said, “Are you going to order a drink or get out of my way?” He asked what I’d like and then proceeded to not only order it for me, but pay as well. At last year’s White Boy Rick screening, I was able to chat with him on the red carpet and thanked him for the drink, and also for “my best party story ever.” Scroll to the last frame of this IG album to see his reaction.


And since this list was first crafted, McConaughey has given us even more reasons to be thankful.

Here’s more Matthew McConaughey goodness: