Pulling up the seat to my computer after a long Saturday night of tending bar, I took the opportunity – alongside some greasy but delicious pad thai leftovers – to watch some television online. “Legally”, of course.
A regular staple for the past decade of my life has been the hilarious antics of Saturday Night Live. Their new, mega talented cast has been delivering one of my favourite seasons to date and tonight did not disappoint. This time, however, it was not the new roles and characters that were getting me all hot & bothered, but rather a throwback we have all been waiting for.
The opening monologue, delivered by frontman of Maroon 5 and judge of The Voice, Adam Levine, was a spoof of his own talent competition. As a buzzer rang out, a judge’s seat spun around to reveal Andy Samberg, an SNL alum. As the skit went on two other judges were revealed as Cameron Diaz and Jerry Seinfeld, drawing roars of laughter from the live audience. Personally, all I could think about was Samberg’s presence during the monologue and knew that it could only mean one thing… another SNL digital short. My gut told me with Adam Levine hosting and Kendrick Lamar as the musical guest that I would be seeing the long awaited return of The Lonely Island.
Midway through the broadcast as one skit faded into the next…it was happening. Could it be?!
Bright flashes of light reveal four men standing in classic power stances: the kind of power stances you can only dream about, and the kind that just haven’t been captured since the days of NSync. It was time. I could feel it in my bones, but this time…was different.
As the video opens, Levine eloquently sings the line “YOLO”. Girls swoon. Samberg whispers, “The battle cry of a generation”. I knew this one would be special; the goosebumps couldn’t lie.
I’ve been hoping for someone to take a stab at YOLO, and who better than Samberg and crew. The Lonely Island boys are always hilarious with their lyrics and Levine is straight up flawless on the hook and relentlessly funny throughout. Kendrick Lamar murdered (in a good way) his verse and the beat, sampled from Joy Formidable’s “Whirring”, which echoed the theme and feel of the track magnificently.
But most of all, it was the cinematography and editing of the video that told the world that The Lonely Island has just upped the ante. Comedy has the tendency of quickly becoming gimmicky, and this slapstick style of music video was something I feared wouldn’t catch on as well as it has. Although it’s hard to top Dick in a Box (seriously), somehow the boys managed to outdo themselves.
This was the first time a Lonely Island video looked and felt like it was shot with the direction of a music video veteran. Creative movements and truly beautiful, though subtle, choreography, mixed with one of the catchiest songs of the year make this video brilliant. This video has definitely sent the message to anyone making comedy shorts or music videos right now that the bar has officially been lifted. I look forward to seeing what will come next from these gentleman, and I’m excited to see what I too can bring to the table now knowing that simply “good enough” isn’t going to make the cut.
PS. If you don’t get the Orwell reference in the video it’s your own fault. Read a book.