On the final night of their first-ever tour, musical-comedy trio the Lonely Island were joined by lots of famous guests, including Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, Adam Levine, Nicki Minaj, T-Pain, Michael Bolton, Maya Rudolph, Haim, Lester Holt, Alf, Johnny Depp, Seth Meyers and Jose Canseco.
Only Meyers and Canseco were live Saturday night at the instantly sold-out Armory in Minneapolis. The others appeared via video – and Muppets, in the case of Gaga and Timberlake.
The Lonely Island is a rap-loving trio of three junior-high-school buddies who landed at “Saturday Night Live.” Two of them, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, were writers, and Andy Samberg was a cast member and writer from 2005-12.
The Lonely Island has released four albums, two movies and two-dozen singles/digital shorts. Saturday’s 78-minute show was essentially their greatest bits ("I Just Had Sex," "I'm on a Boat") delivered live.
That is, after Meyers introduced them, saying that when these guys arrived in New York, he thought they might not be a good fit for “SNL.”
“They wrote sketches,” said Meyers, who happened to be in town for the Minneapolis Comedy Festival. “They rarely aired.”
The Lonely Island are sort of a West Coast parody of New York’s Beastie Boys (complete with vintage Adidas sneakers). The hip-hop humor ranges from clever to sophomoric to obvious.
A common response on seeing them live on Saturday night was a smirk or a smile. Unless, of course, you were singing along, which many of the 8,400 SNL-loving fans were. You don't LOL when you know all the punchlines.
Fans came dressed like themes in the Lonely Island videos/digital shorts – guys in robin's-egg-blue turtlenecks, folks in Oakland A’s jerseys and caps.
The A’s bit, "Jose and Mark," was one of the highlights as Samberg, 40, now the star of NBC's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," portrayed Jose Canseco and Schaffer played Mark McGwire, those two famous Oakland homerun hitters from the 1980s and '90s. In the middle of the routine, the real Canseco strode onstage, muscles bulging, baseball bat in hand.
The other big winner, predictably, was the notorious “Dick in the Box,” in which Timberlake was portrayed by a Muppet, which made the juvenile bit twice as funny as the super-silly original.
The Lonely Island, who changed outfits often, offered very little in the way of nonmusical comedy. They did have a running gag repeated a few times that if you wanted to have sex with the guys afterward, meet them outside the Panera Bread on 8th and Nicollet. “Bad bitches only,” they announced.
The kicker was that Bolton, who appeared via video, texted the Lonely Island that he was actually in town, and women should meet him after the show at Murray’s steakhouse. “Bad bitches only,” of course.
(@edpossehl tweeted a photo outside Panera after the concert, and more than 50 people showed up. Couldn't tell how many were bad bitches, though. The Lonely Island hadn't arrived yet.)