Turtleneck And Chain Are SNLing It Large

by Eric Ditzian SOURCE MTV.com / YouTube
Photo Credit: Courtesy The Lonely Island

Two things we learned during the latest "Saturday Night Live" digital short — a music video for "Jack Sparrow," the absurd and infectious tune that appears on the Lonely Island's latest comedy rap album — are: Michael Bolton is a major cinephile and the dude can lay down a big sexy hook.

Days before the video hit the airwaves, Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island pals Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone kicked even more knowledge to MTV News about their new album Turtleneck & Chain. We ended up walking away with a track-by-track scoop on their collaborations not only with Bolton, but with Rihanna, Snoop Dog, Nicki Minaj, Beck and Akon.

The idea to recruit Bolton for "Jack Sparrow," Samberg told us, was that "the chorus sounded like the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' soundtrack to us. Then Akiva was saying how amazing it would be to get Michael Bolton, who we all have known and loved for years. Then we just stalked him."

Their collaboration with Akon on "I Just Had Sex" evolved not from dogged pursuit, but because the R&B singer and the comedians shared a basic appreciation for bumping and grinding. "He's a fan of sex," Samberg said. "He understands the mechanics, the biology of it."

The music video for the track also appeared as an "SNL" digital short and has garnered more than 86 million hits on YouTube since December. A little over a month earlier, Lonely Island debuted another video as an "SNL" short. Following up on the 2009 original, the troupe recruited Rihanna for "Shy Ronnie 2: Ronnie & Clyde."

"The streets wanted that one," Schaffer said. "Just letter after letter."

Wondered Taccone: "That's how the streets get in contact with you?"

How they communicated with Minaj and director John Waters for "The Creep" was made possible by technology. Nicki was in the studio to contribute a verse about being a stalker, but Waters had to beam in his contribution from San Francisco during a book tour stop. "We talked to him a lot," Taccone said. "He kept saying there's a fine line between perv and a--hole, and can we keep him on the perv side? We're like, 'No problem!' "

To describe their track with Beck, "Attracted to Us," the Lonely Island guys reached back into the musician's discography.

"He's really like mellow gold," Samberg cracked.

"There's two turntables and a microphone in there in the studio," Schaffer said.

"Then when you're in there," added Taccone, "you're like, 'Odelay!' "

And then there's the album's title track, featuring Snoop Dogg, a guy Lonely Island said was a blast to hang out with in the studio. "Weird thing about Snoop, we found out: Snoop doesn't smoke weed," Taccone said.

"Yeah, he doesn't smoke weed," Samberg picked up. "He smokes weeeeeeeed. He smokes weeeeeeeed. He does not smoke weed."