The Lonely Island (TLI) is an American comedy troupe composed of Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, and Andy Samberg, best known for their musical parodies. The group is from Berkeley, California, and is currently based in New York City. The group began creating live comedy skits in junior high 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 Lorne Michaels of Saturday Night Live (SNL). Once on the show, they wrote "Lazy Sunday", a better-produced music parody video much like the group's previous work. It became an instant Internet success, and led to the creation of similar 'digital shorts' which were also aired on Saturday Night Live. "Dick In A Box", "Jizz In My Pants", "Like a Boss" and "I'm On A Boat" have subsequently had huge success both on the show and on the Internet and prompted the recording and release of an album, Incredibad, which has seen the group move in a more musical direction. In August 2007, the group premiered its first feature film, Hot Rod.
The group made a parody of The O.C. titled The 'Bu, starring the Dudes, Sarah Chalke, and an animated talking squirrel named Frazzles (voiced by Taccone). The Lonely Island produced eight episodes of The 'Bu for Channel 101. The eighth episode was an apology for not being able to make the show because of taping the Awesometown pilot. The show, however, still managed to get the necessary votes to stay on Channel 101's Prime Time and had three more episodes produced by other members of the Channel 101 family, including Chester Tam, Channel 101 Creators Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab, and Dave Hartman. Totaling 11 episodes, including the three that were not produced by TLI, it became the second-longest-running show in Channel 101 history, behind Tyler Spier's Classroom.
Other Independent Productions
Their first project was a low-budget sitcom titled The Lonely Island, containing two episodes: "White Power" in which three friends get addicted to tooth whitener and "Regarding Ardy" in which Samberg breaks his pinky, and Schaffer and Taccone almost murder a "friend" to ensure a pinky transplant. "Regarding Ardy" featured cameo appearances by Brooke Shields and Kal Penn. One episode includes a scene in which an elderly woman is being attacked. Kiefer Sutherland was driving by during the filming of the scene, and stopped to intervene. TLI then explained what was actually occurring. Samberg and Sutherland both mentioned the incident on separated appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman. During Samberg's appearance, they aired the few seconds of brief footage; only a few seconds were recorded as the cameraman stopped taping when Sutherland got out of his car and resumed as he was driving off. The group's shorter sketches include "The Legend of Ander Pants", "Perfecto", "The Backseatsman" and a parody of Vanilla Sky.
The group also made numerous hip-hop songs and videos under the name Incredibad, which include songs as "Ka-Blamo", "Just 2 Guyz" and "Stork Patrol". The group also self-released its tracks in a collection titled Please, Incredibad, Don’t Hurt ’Em, a reference to MC Hammer's album Please, Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em. The New York Times remarked that Taccone (who produces most of the group's songs) has a "keen ear for the nuances of different [hip hop] styles." Rolling Stone said that "[its] music shows a sharp attention to period detail."