TV Squad Ten: Top SNL Digital Shorts - VIDEOS
by Annie Wu, posted Feb 11th 2009 11:03AM
To celebrate the release of The Lonely Island's debut album "Incredibad," we've compiled this list of the top ten Saturday Night Live Digital Shorts. For almost four years, Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer have brought us these videos, and they've managed to keep us laughing and humming their tunes weeks after they've aired. We hope this countdown makes you feel just as SNL-y in your digital shorts as when you first saw the videos, and if not, that's okay too. We're glad you're here anyway.
Of course, the rule is that they must have been prefaced by the "An SNL Digital Short" card to qualify. We know how much you love "Virgania Horsen's Hot Air Balloon Rides," but it's not happening. Sorry.
10. "Andy Punches": This was an example of taking an inherently hilarious concept and stretching it as far as it could go. I'm sure someone out there would make a five-minute long video of various people crying while eating if that line between hysterical and heartbreaking weren't so dangerously fine. And if you're still into it and don't mind simulated sobbing over legit tears, check this out.
9. "Japanese Office": It's funny because it's spot-on. Oh, and it's racist.
8. "Ras Trent": I didn't particularly care for this the first time I saw it, mainly because I couldn't understand anything Andy Samberg was saying. Since the initial airing, however, I have seen it multiple times, and it grew on me after the millionth time or so. Occasionally, I even feel compelled to sing everything in that voice and risk getting beaten to death by hordes of annoyed people.
7. "I'm On A Boat": This aired just in time to be on this list. Whereas "Jizz In My Pants" heavily featured Jorma Taccone, this video called upon the talents of the third Lonely Island guy, Akiva Schaffer. It's a little less catchy than the top five picks, but the classy production and hilarious contributions by T-Pain make up for it. It's going to be interesting to see how far they can take this faux-rap video style, because they're starting to do it better than the pros.
6. "Doppelganger": Simple concept, simple execution, brilliant result. Enough said.
5. "Natalie Raps": This was ridiculous. Ridiculous. It was a bold choice to give petite Natalie Portman such a prominent singing/rapping part in this Short, which they hadn't done for a host before, and it really paid off. The way she furiously flails her head when she first yells at Seth Meyers kills me Every. Single. Time. Raise your hand if you dimmed the lights after watching this video and fantasized about Queen Amidala threatening to kill your dog. That's what I thought.
4. "Jizz In My Pants": I think I've listened to this Short more than any of the other songs. This was the first time writer Jorma Taccone had been so prominently featured on the show, and what a way to debut. The song was ridiculous, obviously, but the video itself was marvelously done. Able to stray from from today's irony-obsessed, "the crappier we make this look, the more charming it will be" youth culture, The Lonely Island boys have found major success in putting tremendous effort and money into making utter nonsense look as professionally awesome as possible.
3. "Iran So Far": Out of all the love songs I have heard about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, this is easily my favorite. It is loving and catchy, and Fred Armisen's ridiculous, very hairy Jake Gyllenhaal face adds an extra layer of amazing. The surprise back-up from Maroon 5's Adam Levine certainly didn't hurt either. The entire piece plays out beautifully, creating something both catchy and completely and utterly horrifying to imagine.
2. "Dick In A Box": Anyone who has ever questioned the steps one should follow to present a dick in a box had their prayers answered with this video. Thanks to Justin Timberlake, SNL got another viral hit with this video. Andy Samberg even got to accompany Timberlake at his concerts, doing surprise performances of this very song in those super-sexy Color Me Badd-esque get-ups. Fun Fact: For a full 20 hours after the video aired, "midday at the grocery store" became the world's new favorite answer to everything. This video gets spot #2 because of its sheer pop culture power.
1. "Lazy Sunday": Immediately after this short ended, I distinctly remember feeling like I had just seen something incredibly special. This prompted a frantic 20 minutes of texting various quotes to friends and updating my Facebook status to mark this moment in history, so you know I'm serious. By daybreak, the Internet had exploded and flipped itself inside out, turning this short into a viral hit. NBC couldn't pull it from YouTube fast enough. It not only established Andy Samberg as more than just a newbie, but it managed to do something new with Chris Parnell's rapping beyond throwing him on "Weekend Update" every once in a while. Thanks to "Lazy Sunday", Digital Shorts became something to look forward to.