Saturday, May 14, 2011
Andy Samberg & TLI interview: Marx Brothers & Naysaying
Back in 2005, Saturday Night Live's relationship with the Internet changed forever when one of its short skits landed online. It was a music video about two guys catching a matinee showing of the first Chronicles of Narnia movie — in short, a "Lazy Sunday."
SNL had mostly been appreciated via the airwaves, but it was now getting massive play on the Web. Pulling in more than 7 million views, "Lazy Sunday" was an immediate viral sensation on YouTube — and, remember, this was back when YouTube didn't produce one of those every week.
The song was written by SNL cast member Andy Samberg (who appears in the video with former cast member Chris Parnell) and SNL writers Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. Together, they're the comedy trio known as The Lonely Island, and their songs and music videos since "Lazy Sunday" have earned them an Emmy award (* in a Box; also nominated for Mother Lover and Shy Ronnie) and a Grammy nomination (I'm on a Boat). Now, they have a new album called Turtleneck & Chain.
The three first met as teenagers in Berkeley, Calif. Samberg tells Weekend Edition Sunday host Liane Hansen that they had one specific thing in common: "We all have parents from New York," he says. "We all sort of attribute our immediate kinship to sarcastic parents."
When they graduated from college, Samberg, Schaffer and Taccone decided to move to Los Angeles, where they started making comedy videos together and posting them online. In the process, they bonded over a shared love of some comedy greats: SNL forebears like Adam Sandler, Chris Farley and Mike Myers, as well as luminaries such as Steve Martin, Mel Brooks, the Monty Python troupe and the Marx Brothers.
"We definitely went through a Marx Brothers phase when we were living in L.A.," Samberg says. "We watched a bunch of old Marx Brothers movies and decided that every time we told a joke that all three appreciated, we would shake each other's hands and go, 'Very nice! Thank you! Congratulations!' "
The members of The Lonely Island agree that they've succeeded as a team in part because they almost always find the same things funny — and when they don't, they keep it from getting in the way.
"In general, if one person doesn't get it and is like, 'I don't know why you guys think that's so funny,' they just need to leave the room and let the other two keep pushing forward with it, rather than naysaying until it slows down," Schaffer says.
"There's no time in comedy for naysaying," Samberg adds.
Since the trio often crafts jokes by reducing an idea to the absurd, there's another important factor to their success: never taking themselves too seriously.
"I think self-deprecation is a big part of our humor," Taccone says. "I still occasionally die laughing just thinking that my name is Jorma. Like, that's really funny."
Thanks to Anony for the scoop!
So the two big tidbits here are:
(1) Andy Samberg & TLI are students of Marx Brothers (gotta love the brothers), as well as Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, Mike Meyers on SNL (who wasn't? they were awesome), Steve Martin, Mel Brooks, and Monty Python.
(2) The dudes discuss their ideas, and if two out of three think it's funny, they go for it. If the third one doesn't get the humor of it, then he just leaves and lets the other two do their thing.
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Andy Samberg SNL Promotions
- Andy & Anne Hathaway 2
- Andy & Emma Stone
- Andy & Amy Poehler
- Andy & Gabourey Sidibe
- Andy & Jennifer Lopez
- Andy & Charles Barkley
- Andy & Blake Lively
- Andy & January Jones
- Andy & Megan Fox
- Andy & Justin Timberlake
- Andy & The Rock
- Andy & Steve Martin
- Andy & Paul Rudd
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- Andy & Ellen Page
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- Andy & Scarlett Johansson
Some Favorite Andy Samberg Posts
- Andy as Jewey Fallon - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
- Andy & T-Pain are glad that Jorma isn't on the boat
- Andy in Show Choir
- Andy in Rose Bowl Promo: Football Taping
- Andy's 2009 favorites
- MacGruber movie review
- Should SNL show digital shorts instead of domestic violence?
- John Hamm to host SNL again in January
- Andy in Nature of the Beast
- Why is SNL featuring so many young and attractive hosts?
- Saturday Night Live 12/5/09 - Blake Lively & Rihanna
- Andy nominated for a Grammy
- Andy & Blake Lively - SNL Promo
- Andy hangs with the SNL crew
- Blake, Taylor, and James hosting
- Does Andy have a big butt?
- Reba digital short
- Andy Samberg in The Mellow Show
- 10 ways to fix SNL (I wish this was a joke)
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt - SNL Promos
- Andy Samberg & Friends - Comedy Central's report
- What SNL Alumni should host SNL?
- in Lady's Guide To Throwing A Party
- "Get Out" Digital Short
- Andy & January Jones - SNL Promo
- Andy Samberg and Friends - Kristen's Review
- Andy Samberg and Friends - Stephanie's Review
- January Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Host SNL
- Full Episode: SNL 11/7/09 - Taylor Swift
- Taylor Swift gets Kanye'd already
- Andy Samberg Halloween costumes
- Should SNL cast members exploit commercials?
- Supports the elephants
- Night of Too Many Stars
- Loves his sweatshirt and Joanna Newsom
- Space Chimps 2?
- Yo Gabba Gabba - Behind the scenes
- Taylor Swift is hosting SNL
- National Bosses Day (Like a Boss)
- On the Ground - Behind the scenes (video)
- Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (videos - 10/13/09)
- on Yo Gabba Gabba (video)
- His Elle shoot (video)
- SNL, 9/26/09 - Megan Fox & U2
- Andy and friends at the Emmys
- Andy Samberg and Jimmy Fallon at the MTV VMAs
- Andy Samberg behind the scenes of "Cloudy" Video
- Andy Samberg on Martha Stewart
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