Why The Lonely Island Are Called The Lonely Island (And 10 Other Things We Learned From Their Reddit AMA)

The Lonely Island – the comedy music trio behind esteemed musical confections such as ‘Jizz In My Pants’ and ‘I Just Had Sex’ – recently appeared in a Reddit AMA. They were answering fans’ questions ahead of the release of their mockumentary film Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, which takes off concert films like Justin Bieber: Never Say Never and One Direction: This Is Us. Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone’s responses were transcribed in the order of their conversation, making for some random diversions from the topic. But we still learnt 10 interesting things from it – here they are.

1. The story of The Lonely Island’s name is convoluted

Two people asked the story behind the band’s name. First off came this response, from Akiva: “We consider all of North America to be an island.”

Then came another, to exactly the same question from another fan. “The quick answer is that it is the name of the apartment that we all lived in when we first moved to LA,” said Jorma. “We named it,” said Andy. Back to Jorma: “It was on a sea of traffic. On Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles. It was basically like a six lane highway and so, it was an island on a sea of traffic.” There you have it – pick whichever answer you like better.

2. They’re chuffed with ‘Everything Is Awesome’’s mind-burrowing success


The Lego Movie soundtracker was performed by the trio, alongside Tegan & Sara. “You’re welcome parents,” said Andy, “From us, and Tegan and Sara. We’re speaking on their behalf.”

3. Andy Samberg’s favourite gig ever was by his wife, Joanna Newsom

“I had wonderful experiences seeing The Roots in concert,” said Andy, “many times. The Farside was a wonderful concert. The Strokes were a great concert. I saw The Pixies reunion concert. Radiohead was one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen.

“I think, obviously I’m biased, but the best show I’ve ever been to was my wife, Joanna Newsom, at Disney Hall in LA with a full orchestra. That was fucking incredible. Truly, regardless of if I had ever met her, that was the best show I’ve ever been to.”

4. Samberg really hates US TV host Seth Meyers’ dog, because it’s ugly af

“I’ve very publicly said I think it’s a really ugly rat,” said Andy. “Seth and his wife act like the dog is super cute, and that everyone should love the dog. But it’s ugly. He goes on television every night and rams it down America’s throat, like, ‘Look how cute this rat is.’ And, by the way, I don’t even dislike rats. I kinda prefer rats to Frisbee [the dog]. I would say Frisbee is basically more like a pile of feces than an actual mammal.”


5. Akiva is the band’s real survivor

If they were trapped on a desert island, they said, Akiva would last the longest – he’s on the left in the below picture. Says Andy: “We say Akiva because he’s the most crafty. He would definitely filter water and learn how to make a fire. He would make good weapons with which to kill us and then eat us.”


Jorma added, “He would probably die of skin cancer the quickest though. Because he’s the most pale. So, there are plusses and minuses to it.”

6. Weird Al Yankovic is in their new movie… maybe

Akiva says, “If you keep your eyes really peeled and really know what he looks like, you might see him for a split second in our movie.”

Then again, they might just be trying to get you to go and see their new movie.

7. They have a lot of favourite rappers

These include Kendrick Lamar, Lord Finesse, Rakim, J-Ro, and Starang Wondah.

8. They have no plans to stop yet

Although Andy says, “Quick amendment; probably like after the movie comes out. Gonna like stop on a dime and just rest, drink some fine vino, spend time with our loved ones.”

9. They want to be in Kung Fury 2

Kung Fury was the mad, Kickstarter-funded film that paired Nazis with Vikings, dinosaurs and kung fu and is now on Netflix. TLI would be up for appearing in a sequel, they say. “We just haven’t been asked yet,” says Andy, “but we certainly hope to. Kung Fury I was a gem.”

10. Hot dogs aren’t sandwiches

They’ve definitively given the ultimate answer to this Reddit meme, which appeared months ago. To understand their reasoning, you need to read their full transcript, below:
Akiva: Here’s the thing; it would definitely be a sandwich if you just break the bun, right? As soon as the bun breaks, now you’re in sandwich territory. Would you need to slice the hot dog lengthwise?
Jorma: So if you slice the hot dog lengthwise, then it’s a sandwich, and if you don’t then it’s a hot dog?
Akiva: As soon as it flattens, you mean?
Jorma: Yeah so if it’s flattened, if it’s been sliced in half and grilled…
Akiva: But the bun, if it’s still intact, it’s wrapped around it, it’s more like a wrap or something. But the moment you pulled the little thing and it breaks along the edge, and you have two pieces of bread…
Jorma: Akiva? A hot dog is not a sandwich, because it’s a hot dog. It’s its own genre.
Akiva: But, so, like it’s a sausage sandwich, is the other thing.
Andy: If you chop up a sausage and put it in a sandwich, that’s a sausage sandwich.
Akiva: Well because the definition of a sandwich would be like, an item between two pieces of bread, and a bun is not two pieces of bread; it’s just a bun. Unless…
Jorma: It’s the presentation though. As soon as you slice it, it no longer becomes a hot dog. It doesn’t have the hot dog shape.
Akiva: It becomes a sausage sandwich.
Jorma: Yes.
Akiva: So I guess…no. I guess I changed my answer. We’re on the right side of history.
Jorma: So no, a hot dog is a hot dog.
Akiva: Because the moment it changes into a sandwich, it’s a sandwich. So it can’t be; a hot dog can’t be a sandwich. There can be a hot dog sandwich.
Andy: I feel like we just worked through something really good as a group.
Akiva: We probably ended this Reddit meme, because we settled it.
Jorma: Because everyone agrees.
Andy: Dropping the mic.

Quite right.