Andy Samberg’s life, and arguably comedy in general, changed during the December 17, 2005 episode of Saturday Night Live. Hosted by Jack Black with musical guest Neil Young, the program featured the second installment of its SNL Digital Shorts series. The first, in which Samberg and Will Forte grieve while gnawing on heads of lettuce, had surfaced a few weeks later to a generally positive, if muted, response. But it was the sophomore short, “Lazy Sunday,” that truly established Samberg and his video-making cronies in The Lonely Island, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer, as a viable comedic force. In this music video—directed by Schaffer—Samberg and fellow SNL cast member Chris Parnell portray self-styled gangster rappers fixated on such decidedly genteel diversions as cupcakes, online traffic maps, Matthew Perry, and a little film called The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe.
“Lazy Sunday” had the good fortune of emerging as video sharing via the internet was becoming much faster and easier. Not only did the song go viral despite NBC’s best efforts, reaching even viewers who didn’t normally watch SNL, but it inspired a whole slew of parodies and imitators. There was “Lazy Muncie,” which took the concept to a Midwestern setting, and “Lazy Monday,” a West Coast response. Soon, “Lazy Sunday” had spawned a calculus version, a bridal version, a business school version, a tax preparation version, and so on. NBC’s The Office even weighed in with its own iteration of the meme. Perhaps the most adorable “Lazy Sunday” derivative, however, was Limey Lassen’s late-arriving “Lazy Ponyday,” a mashup that perfectly syncs the original SNL song with footage from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Here, Samberg is portrayed by Pinkie Pie, while Parnell is Twilight Sparkle, a purple unicorn. Luckily, in Ponyville, such crucial props as cupcakes and a map are within easy reach. Considering the tastes of the original “Lazy Sunday” guys, it does not take a great leap of faith to imagine them as hardcore bronies.