You probably know the Lonely Island — Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone — as the writer/comedian team behind “Saturday Night Live” music videos like “… in a Box” with Justin Timberlake and “I’m on a Boat” with T-Pain.
The threesome wrote and star in “Popstar,” and Schaffer and Taccone co-directed. Here are four other things you may not know about them, thanks to the New York Times, Associated Press and Los Angeles Times:
▪ They met as teenagers in Berkeley, Calif., and bonded over comedy, music and skateboarding. The same things they get into today. “Except skateboarding — which we don’t get to do anymore since we’re adults,” Schaffer said.
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▪ Their inspiration for “Popstar” was the rock mockumentary “This Is Spinal Tap.” “The genre of it is born out of the new wave of pop documentaries that (Justin) Bieber, Katy Perry and One Direction were making,” Samberg said. “It felt like the way ‘Spinal Tap’ did it with rock docs, now there was sort of this new version of it that’s sort of newer and shinier and poppier.”
▪ The many, many talking-head cameos in “Popstar” weren’t quite scripted. The writers simply told the real-life pop stars to think of the Beastie Boys when talking about the fictional Style Boyz. And then they got to improvise.
“When you’re dealing with people who are charismatic, big personalities in their own right, someone like Ringo Starr all the way to ASAP Rocky, you want them to put it in their own words because it lends authenticity,” Samberg said. “And the more they’d do that, the funnier it was to us.”
▪ The Lonely Island group also produces Fox’s late-night sketch series “Party Over Here” and has a comedy starring Elizabeth Banks in development at Freeform (formerly ABC Family).