Seeing as these guys have already stepped up into the big leagues (as writers and performers for Saturday Night Live), we’ll get Lonely Island out of the way first, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s because they don’t kick a lot of ass. Because baby, they kick a lot of ass. Before hitting it big, the LI guys turned in a pretty hefty catalog of funny and bizarre shorts that showcased their ability to subvert music to their comedic cause, but it wasn’t until Lazy Sunday went massive on the web that they started getting the attention they’ve deserved.
What’s most impressive about the Lonely Island boys is not just their comedic skills, but the care and quality of their actual production. And then, of course, there’s the music. Hands down these guys are probably the most adept sketch group out there at using music as a vehicle for their work, and the ease with which they’re able to slide in and out of dozens of genres is really stunning. As a musician, I’m deeply in awe of that side of their talent.
It’s important to note that Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone and Andy Samberg are very easily the godfathers of Internet sketch groups as we know them today, and their influence is seen in nearly every newcomer out there. It’s great to see a group like this hit the big leagues, and it’s telling that they’re still held in such high regard now that they’re primarily working the networks. Personally, I think these boys are just about the only great thing left on Saturday Night Live, as evidenced by the aforementioned Lazy Sunday and the now infamous Dick in a Box short, and I truly hope they’re able to influence the once great show back into the kind of genre and envelope pushing area it belongs in.