The Lonely Island release rejected Oscars song that was "too expensive to produce"
In the 2000's, The Lonely Island - comprised of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone - produced some of the funniest content on Saturday Night Live. Their digital shorts were weird, silly and consistently great. But the music videos really stood out - Lazy Sunday, D--k In A Box, I'm On A Boat. They crafted songs with ridiculous lyrics that also happened to be good musically, sounding just as catchy as anything on the radio.
Today the comedy troupe revealed that they were invited to write a song for the Academy Awards. And why not? In 2015, they recorded the Oscar-nominated song "Everything Is Awesome" for The Lego Movie (and performed it during the show). And if you ask me, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping was cruelly snubbed for Best Picture in 2016. At an event full of serious speeches, an irreverent Lonely Island music video would have been perfect.
Unfortunately, the Academy rejected their song, but the group uploaded a demo version of the track on YouTube. It begins with a message explaining the situation:
"We were asked to write a song for this year’s Academy Awards. Unfortunately, it wasn’t chosen because it was ‘financially and logistically impossible,’ so for fun we thought we’d share the rough storyboards of what would have been a fully shot, star-studded music video of exorbitant cost."
The song is called "Why Not Me?" and skewers the fact that the highest grossing movies often don't get Oscar nominations. Comic book movies, comedies and horror movies usually get snubbed in every category except Best Visual Effects. Logan, Wonder-Woman and Thor: Ragnarok weren't just box office hits; they were among the top ten best reviewed moves in Rotten Tomatoes. (Although, to be fair, Get Out and The Shape Of Water got a lot of nominations this year, representing for horror and fantasy.
In the storyboard video for "Why Not Me?", the stars of the biggest popcorn movie brag about their superhuman accomplishmenst. Chris Hemsworth and Gal Gadot would have appeared as Thor and Wonder Woman, singing, "We both faced death it's true/ But at least Lady Bird got into NYU." Pennywise, the evil clown from It, would have sang "Oscars so white but I guess not for me / I have to raise my quote so I can finally fix my teeth." And Tiffany Haddish would have sang about her famous scene from Girls Trip: "I peed while hanging from a zipline!/ Meryl Streep has never done that."
It's too bad the music video was never produced, but with so many huge stars featured, you can see why it would have been a scheduling nightmare. But it's cool they shared the demo, so we can see what could have been. I especially like the Vin Diesel solo, the four Chrises and the reference to Michael Fassbender's flop, The Snowman. But hey, at least we got to see Gael García Bernal sing during the ceremony. That was just as good, right?