Starting as a confusing, underrated bit explaining the consoling powers of nutrient-free roughage, Saturday Night Live's digital shorts have succeeded in providing some edgier humor for a younger generation. In this writer's opinion, it's no coincidence SNL is enjoying a mini-renaissance while digital shorts are evolving into more of a centerpiece. OK, maybe politics has something to do with it. Even with the obligatory Tina Fey/Sarah Palin opening sketch, I'll always start with yesterday's digital short every Sunday morning. (That's assuming I miss the live broadcast, which is happening less and less. No friends left in ATex.) Everyone knows the famous digital shorts-- Lazy Sunday, Natalie Portman rap, Dick in a Box, Dear Sister-- but I'd like to highlight some of the more underrated shorts that may have slipped through the cracks.
6. Hero Song
Premise: A Batman-like superhero in the making, played by Andy Samberg, is fed up with the overall demise of his Gotham-like society. He takes to the streets and encounters his first street thug.
On the list because... I'm a sucker for exaggeration humor. This is the live-action equivalent of Shazzang! "You sure saved us, Shazzang... and now... it's over."
Quote: "Another 50 Murders!"
5. Ariel & Efrim
Premise: There's a '90s single you might have forgotten.
On the list because: I've been obsessed with this decade for two years, and I love when songs purposefully don't rhyme.
Quote: "Oh, Efrim, you're handsome." "I'm serious... about my testicles."
4. Space Olympics
Premise: It's the year 3022, and the decision to hold a universal olympiad is being regretted.
On the list because: Take your pick: the ridiculous space events that were originally planned? Gratuitous Samberg cursing? The organizer realizing, for the first time, that a lack of gravity, time, and space might pose problems? The veiled JT reference at the very end?
Quote: "There was a bit of a budget snafu/And food funding is in-suff-i-cient."
3. Laser Cats 2
Premise: Samberg and Hader once again try to pitch their brainchild, Laser Cats, to Lorne Michaels.
On the list because: I watched this one live, and it was immeasurably funny once the whole politics-leading-to-nuclear-war-leading-to-laser-cats intro first scrolled. Laser Cats 1 took a while to get started, while Laser Cats 3D got a little full of itself. The apparent production budget of $43 also helps.
Quote: "Future spike!"
2. Roy Rules!
Premise: Samberg expresses his brother-in-law love via song.
On the list because: Just too many one-liners to pass up. Note how the office scene features "Roy" sitting in front of a logged-off computer.
Quote: "But in my dreams, he's dressed like a pirate/And my dong is his pegleg."
Premise: It's a public television documentary for the Staten Island Zoo about the three-toed mammal.
On the list because: See quotes.
"We got three toes, but we'll pound 3000 Bud Lights/Break your nose and kick your face in a punch-fight."
"We eat bamboo, but prefer your girlfriend's *********/Shank your mom with a pterodactyl ******** bone."
"Hire a dog to burn down a hospital/Eat cocaine off America's gravestone."
* Not an actual digital short, but still produced by the Lonely Island trio.