The Lonely Island
|Origin||Berkeley, California, U.S.|
|Genres||Comedy hip hop, satire, surreal humour, off-color humor, black comedy|
The Lonely Island is an American comedy trio, formed by Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg, and Jorma Taccone in Berkeley, California in 2001. They have written for and starred in the American TV program Saturday Night Live (SNL).
The three first met in junior high. After graduating from college, they regrouped and moved to Los Angeles, where they struggled to find work and began making short films, combining absurdist comedy and occasionally music. Among the first performers to post their material on the Internet, they involved themselves with Channel 101, a non-profit monthly short film festival. Their popularity at the screenings led to unsuccessful pilot deals with Fox and Comedy Central and a writing job for the 2005 MTV Movie Awards. Subsequently, that show's host, Jimmy Fallon, recommended them to Lorne Michaels, the creator of Saturday Night Live.
The group was hired for SNL in 2005, with all three as writers and Samberg as a featured player. Bypassing the traditional process of pitching, they recorded their own material independently and submitted it to the program. Their second sketch to air, "Lazy Sunday", became an internet sensation, the first of many viral videos they produced while at SNL. They led their own division at the program — SNL Digital Shorts — which led to numerous viral videos, including "Motherlover", "Dick in a Box", "Jizz in My Pants", "I'm on a Boat", "Like a Boss", "I Just Had Sex", "Jack Sparrow", and "YOLO". Their musical comedic work has comprised four full studio albums: Incredibad (2009), Turtleneck & Chain (2011), The Wack Album (2013), and The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience (2019), along with a soundtrack album for their 2016 film Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. The three retired from SNL in the early 2010s, but occasionally make guest appearances.
The troupe has written, directed and starred in two feature-length films, Hot Rod, released in 2007, and Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, co-produced by Judd Apatow and released in 2016. The group also produced the 2020 film Palm Springs, starring Samberg and Cristin Milioti.