NPR 4 THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t



FRESH AIR: Three kids meet in junior high, grow up skateboarding, doing graffitti and shooting stuff on home-video cameras, then eventually get jobs together on Saturday Night Live. It sounds like an adolescent fantasy, but for former SNL cast member Andy Samberg and former SNL writers Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer, it actually happened. “We were not ambitious,” Schaffer tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. “We were just kids who liked comedy, and we liked music, and we were nerds about that stuff.” Samberg, Taccone and Schaffer work together under the name The Lonely Island. Their new film, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, is a comedy that satirizes pop-music documentaries, like those on Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and One Direction, which draw on tropes like the hometown visit, band breakups and the inevitable disaster in the relentless press cycle. In the movie, which the three wrote and which Taccone and Schaffer directed, the friends play a hip-hop boy band that breaks up acrimoniously when Samberg’s character decides to go solo as the pop star Conner4Real. The character’s breakout success in the start of the film parallels Samberg’s own success as a cast member of SNL — except, Samberg says, The Lonely Island handled things better in real life than they do on screen. “This [movie] is our therapy on a grand scale,” Samberg jokes. “We’ve been saying that the characters in the movie, The Style Boyz, are like us if we weren’t self-aware.” MORE