Network TV – Home Video

SNL Lazy Sunday Chris Parnell and Adam SambergLast week I wrote about Saturday Night Live’s “Christmastime For The Jews,” but obviously missed the most buzzworthy segment from that show, “Lazy Sunday,” with Chris Parnell and Adam Samberg.

From The New York Times:

Since it was originally broadcast on NBC, “Lazy Sunday” has been downloaded more than 1.2 million times from the video-sharing Web site; it has cracked the upper echelons of the video charts at and the iTunes Music Store; and it has even inspired a line of T-shirts, available at

When it aired, I hit the rewind button to see it again, and I too have watched it on the net. It’s very clever. I’m too old to get all the cultural references, as Steffie was glad to point out.

Today’s Times splashed this story across the front page of the Arts section. Here’s what I learned that impressed me the most:

On the evening of Dec. 12, the four wrote a song about “two guys rapping about very lame, sensitive stuff,” as Mr. Samberg described it. They recorded it the following night in the office Mr. Samberg shares with Mr. Schaffer and Mr. Taccone at “SNL,” using a laptop computer that Mr. Taccone bought on Craigslist.

Then, while their colleagues were rehearsing and rewriting that Saturday’s show, the group spent the morning of Dec. 15 shooting their video with a borrowed camera, using the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Chelsea to stand in for a multiplex cinema and Mr. Taccone’s girlfriend’s sister to play a convenience-store clerk. Mr. Schaffer spent the next night – and morning – editing the video and working with technicians to bring it up to broadcast standards.

In other words, if you have talent, you no longer need the support of a major studio or broadcast network to make something good and powerful. You can shoot and edit your film at home, or in a small office, with off-the-shelf equipment that’s readily available and cheap.

That is a major change from how moving pictures have always been produced.

Yes, Parnell and Samberg needed NBC to get instant publicity and notoriety today. I’m not sure they’ll need that tomorrow.