Saturday Night Live has been doing shorts and prerecorded segments since the early years of the show, but the last couple of years of Digital Shorts have really revitalized SNL. They are often more bizarre and experimental than the rest of the sketches, but the genius lies in the extra, often very weird, mile they go to take it one step further. Where most people would end a sketch, these guys will add one more part, which not only sets them apart from the rest of the show, but makes these sketches so unique and wonderful.
Some of my favorite shorts are musical ones, mainly because the participants look so serious and always keep a straight face. One of the most famous ones is, of course, Dick in a Box with Mr. Justin Timberlake and Mr. Andy Samberg. But there are more that parody typical, high budget cheesy music videos, such as Iran So Far, featuring Maroon 5’s Mr. Adam Levine. Hilarious pun aside, Sambergs serious musician face mirrors Mr. Levine’s, which I suspect is his genuine face, but good for Mr. Levine for being a good sport about it. Another great music video that features super serious face is Natalie Portman’s gangsta rap. Hey, she never claimed she was a role model.
People Getting Punched Before Eating
This sketch is pretty simple, Samberg runs around and punches people right before the eat, finding loads of different variations of the same joke. The signature twist is about 2 minutes in, where one of his victims turns out to be a zombie. Naturally, there is zombie dancing and it ends on a very inspirational note, “Believe in your dreams”.
I Threw it on the Ground
Although my favorite part of this clip is when Samberg declares that his dad isn’t a phone (I love a good pun, the lamer the better), but the extra part of this is when Samberg attacks Ryan Reynolds and Elijah Wood during their dinner. They go on to taze him in the butthole, and I have never seen a more terrifying performance by Mr.Wood. Those are crazy eyes. Crazy fucking eyes.
I’m going to ignore Rihanna’s pants, because that isn’t what this post is about (although we did discuss them and concluded that she is just rubbing her hotness in our faces by wearing MC Hammer’s rejects, more pants post here). The twist in this one is when Shy Ronnie breaks out into some proper rapping as soon as Rihanna leaves, even though the sketch could have wrapped up when she walks out because he pissed himself (oh no).
These sketches could so easily have left these extra bits out and still been well met by audiences and gone crazy on the internet, but not at the same level as they are now. Personally, I can watch these over and over again (and I do). I can see how they can be dismissed as silly slapstick by some, but I love the commitment and the dedication to being just a little bit stranger than required. So thank you, SNL, for being weirder than you have to be.