Yes, you read that headline correctly. This year’s Oscars could’ve featured an ambitious performance from the comedic musical trio commonly known as The Lonely Island. Could have. But didn’t. “WHY INTERNET WRITER LADY, WHY,” you scream, shaking your fists at the heavens, to which I say unto you: Because the Academy in its infinite wisdom deemed the performance to be “financially and logistically impossible.” Maybe also because they spent their entire budget on a stage that looked like an extreme close-up of Elizabeth Taylor’s bedazzled brain.
These days, we take our amusement where we can. For the past week, the internet has been entranced by the disaster that is the Frye Festival, a supposed music festival for rich millennials that quickly descended into anarchy when musicians and vendors pulled out due to its unsafe conditions. The full scope of the festival’s failure was laid bare in Friday’s piece at New York Magazine, where one administrator — or former admin, since she dropped as soon as she realized the full scope of the organizers’ failure — spoke candidly about the missteps leading up to the festival. For entertainment value, the Frye Festival just can’t be beat.
It’s been more than 30 years since This Is Spinal Tap hilariously mocked the pop music scene and launched the mockumentary subgenre. If there can be such a thing as a “spiritual remake” of an old movie, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is it. It takes the same basic structure as Spinal Tap (a fake documentary about life in the music industry) and its narrative framework (a formerly hot pop acts fall from grace) and layers in a whole new generation of jokes about dopey celebrities in the age of social media. It doesn’t break any new ground, and it might not even be its creators’ most effective satire of this subject, but it is funny.
There were plenty of fantastic moments in SNL’s Season 41 finale, and while the last sketch of the night might not have been the most laugh-out-loud funny among them, it was definitely the most wonderful. Host Fred Armisen brought a few of his fellow SNL vets together along with a couple of special guests to form the perfect, subtly quirky ’70s southern jam band, complete with 20-something members and a tambourine or two.
It may seem like it’s been forever since The Lonely Island delivered a new Digital Short on SNL, but it’s only been a little over a year (which is like, eight years in Adult Time). In any case, Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone are back with their latest music offering, this one taken straight from their upcoming film Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping — which also happens to be an early contender for the best movie title of the year.
The Lonely Island’s upcoming music mockumentary Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping won’t start never stopping until June 3, but Universal has already released a green-band trailer for the eyeballs too innocent for last week’s red-band delight. The newly released spot covers most of the same territory as the previously released trailer, introducing the intricate network of assistants in the orbit of pop sensation Conner4Real (Andy Samberg) and the star-studded roster of performers who will portray them.
Many have tried to compete with SNL in the realm of Saturday sketch comedy, though few ever shared as much DNA as FOX’s upcoming Lonely Island-produced Party Over Here. It took us aback to see Andy Samberg going against his former boss, but the Brooklyn Nine-Nine star reveals that the group made sure their series wouldn’t compete in the SNL timeslot, or move forward without Lorne Michaels’ approval.