Lonely Island is no stranger to performance. The comedic band has appeared live several times over the years, but in a scenario that is opposite the usual route to stardom, they’ve only ever appeared on television, rather than on a stage in front of fans, sans camera. But all that is set to change. Lonely Island performed their very first live show on May 27, in Pasadena, California. The full live set is in preparation for their appearance at Clusterfest, the Comedy Central and Superfly festival that takes place in San Francisco from June 1 to June 3.
Lonely Island is comprised of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone the group formed back in 2001 when the three men were living in Berkeley. The trio had met in junior high, and after college they moved together to Los Angeles to find work in the film industry. They started to make short comedy films that sometimes featured music. Lonely Island was an early adopter of the internet to post their music and comedy bits. They connected with Channel 101, which was a monthly short film festival that helped boost their work. Those live screenings got the attention of several neworks. First, Lonely Island had failed pillot deals with COmedy Central and Fox. Finally, Saturday Night Live invited the trio to come on board as writers after Jimmy Fallon recommended them to Lorne Michaels.
The sketches and short films written by Lonely Island helped catapult Saturday Night Live back into discussion, finally producing show content that was designed to outlive the live show and “go viral” on the internet. The trio got to head up their own division, called SNL Digital Shorts. They hit it big with just their second short, “Lazy Sunday,” which featured Samberg and Chris Parnell performing hardcore rap about The Chronicles of Narnia, cupcakes, directions and such.
Their biggest hits were “Like a Boss,” “I’m On a Boat,” “I Just Had Sex,” “YOLO,” and “Jack Sparrow.” Perhaps their biggest hit was “D*** in a Box,” which starred Justin Timberlake offering ladies the gift of his member in a box. Lonely Island released three comedy-music albums, 2009’s Incredibad, 2011’s Turtleneck & Chain, and 2013’s The Wack Album.
After leaving Saturday Night Live, the group collaborated to write a song for The Lego Movie, “Everything Is Awesome.” The group, along with Shawn Patterson, Joshua Bartholomew, and Lisa Harriton, as performed by Tegan and Sara, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
For the Pasadena show, the group ran through all their hits and then debuted a new song about sports. Jose Canseco, Joe Montana and Mark Mcgwire showed up and performed in person.
Several people who attended the concert posted clips from the performance, in particular the trio donning white tuxedos for “I’m On A Boat,” and matching blue turtlenecks for “Jizz in My Pants.”
Clusterfest is a comedy fest that features the edgiest performers in the comedy world. Amy Schumer, John Mulaney, Trevor Noah, Tiffany Haddish, Maria Bamford, Jon Stewart, Drunk History Friends and others headline the event.