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Borderline Feature: The Lonely Island

Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, and Andy Samberg (“The Dudes”) are best known for their comedic music videos and work on SNL. I was shown Awesometown, their TV pilot with cuts for both MTV and Fox, around ’06/’07 on YouTube. I sadly cannot find their entire original MTV cut, featuring some of their funniest skits, anywhere. (Please email if you know where to find it!)

I instantly became hooked on The Dudes. I’m not an SNL watcher, but the digital shorts written by these guys were often the shiny diamonds sticking out from, what I was told, an otherwise pile of turds. At the great risk of sounding like a hipster, their ‘early’ work is my favourite. It’s more obscure and strangely clever; it’s not for everyone. It’s the kind of stuff that gets even funnier upon re-watching, which is the mark of unique, original comedy. Their famous videos like “Lazy Sunday“, “I’m On a Boat“, and “We’re Back (The Album Version)” show that their skill and humour has clearly matured (if you can call it that.) But, I want to share three videos from their vintage collection that got me hooked.

Rating: Great

From the Fox Cut of Awesometown, this is a collection of the “Castaways” clips. Sweet beards.

Rating: Great

Originally made for Channel 101, the dudes spoof melodramatic teen dramas like Dawson’s Creek and The O.C. The first of a multi-part series.

Rating: Great

This is the story of three boys getting addicted to tooth whitener. They nail silly spoofs of the commercial, the teen drama, the music video, the after school special, and the pizza-making montage all in one place. When the dudes moved to L.A., they successfully used this video to gain attention from an agency. It clocks in at close to 18 minutes, so you must be dedicated to their genius. Awesometown got me interested in The Lonely Island and this video got me hooked (especially the random music video for “KA-BLAMO”, which you can find the full video for here.

Honourable Mentions:

Three short clips from Awesometown that show stupid can be brilliant.