The Lonely Island is an American comedy troupe composed of Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, and Andy Samberg, best known for its comedic music. The group is from Berkeley, California, and is currently based in New York City, where they are currently working on “Saturday Night Live” (“SNL”).
The group began creating live comedy skits in junior high school and continued to do so, expanding its repertoire to comedic shorts, music parody (both songs and videos), and one full-length television pilot, before coming to the attention of “SNL” producer Lorne Michaels. Samberg was invited to become a cast member and Schaffer and Taccone were invited to join the writing staff based on their work in the trio.
Uncertain if Michaels would approve of a wacky pre-recorded skit on the show, the group borrowed a video camera and filmed a faux lettuce commercial starring Samberg and Chris Parnell, a fellow “SNL” cast member. They presented the finished product to Michaels in December 2005, who liked the short and agreed to air it. It was first of what would become a regular feature of the program, called “Saturday Night Live's Digital Shorts.”
“Lazy Sunday,” the second digital short, enjoyed runaway success in the virtual media, as fans responded with T-shirts and response videos. Many of these shorts have skyrocketed to internet fame, including “Dick in a Box” with Justin Timberlake, “Natalie's Rap” with Natalie Portman, “Iran So Far” with Adam Levine, “Jizz in My Pants,” “Shy Ronnie” with Rihanna and “I'm on a Boat” with T-Pain. “Dick in a Box” won the 2007 Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics. Credited for its production are Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, and Justin Timberlake, in addition to Katreese Barnes and Asa Taccone for music. “I'm on a Boat” was nominated in 2009 for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 52nd Grammy Awards.
In 2009 they released “Incredibad,” their debut album which included parodies of existing hip-hop songs and a DVD featuring their videos, including “Wait (You Guys)” as the Bing Bong Brothers, a spoof of the Ying Yang Twins’ “Wait (The Whisper Song)” and “Jizz In My Pants.” It reached #13 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and #7 on the Billboard Rap chart.
Another short, “I Just Had Sex” featuring Akon, aired in 2010. The corresponding video gained over 17 million views within one week of being posted on Youtube, and to date has clocked over 85 million views. Their short, “The Creep” which featured rapper Nicki Minaj, was released in January 2011.
Both songs appeared on their 2011 album, “Turtleneck & Chain.” Collaborators on the album include Minaj, Akon, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg, Michael Bolton, Santigold, John Waters and Beck.