The Lonely Island trio, made up of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone, has gotten a lot of credit for bringing Saturday Night Live into the Internet age with the Digital Shorts segment. Short musical clips like “Chronicles of Narnia (Lazy Sunday)” and “Dick in a Box” with Justin Timberlake helped SNL reach a new audience, and one they could cater to rather cheaply and easily.
The group has been around since 2001, and just released their first album, Incredibad, which they will be signing tomorrow at the Newbury Comics at Faneuil Hall (event starts at 7PM, get there early if you want a spot in line), which is my tangential excuse for posting this on Boston Comedy.
For those who may want a refresher, here’s the clip that first got people’s attention:
A lot of people have treated the short film as a new phenomenon, and in many ways, it is. But the original mission of Saturday Night Live included bringing short films to a hip comedy viewing public. For the first season in 1975, comedian Albert Brooks made six short films that are forgotten classics in their own right. Brooks was already a Grammy-winning comedian, and his film shorts were brilliant, on-point show business satires.
Brooks only lasted one season, after which he transitioned from stand-up to writer and director, and made films like Modern Romance and Lost in America. But Brooks was a name people recognized, which, by many accounts, helped build the initial buzz for the show. It seems these films aren’t available anywhere online (if anyone has a link, please send it to me at email@example.com), but you can find them on the first season of Saturday Night Live on DVD. If you’re insatiably curious right now, you can check out transcripts on the Saturday Night Live transcript site.