The Lonely Island's Surprise Netflix Special Is A Celeb-Filled 'Lemonade' Spoof
We finally know what the Lonely Island's mysterious Netflix project is... and it is safe to say that absolutely nobody guessed it would be an ode to '80s baseball legends Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. On Wednesday morning, the Lonely Island shocked fans by posting a cryptic message instructing fans to log into Netflix at midnight, and that is where and when the comedy rap trio released their totally unexpected new visual album. The Lonely Island's The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience is a Lemonade-inspired send-up of the 'roided-out baseball stars of the late '80s, filled with celebrity cameos.
Fans had so many guesses about what the Lonely Island's mystery project could be, ranging from a surprise concert documentary to a new comedy film, but it turned out that the group was indeed mirroring the most iconic surprise release in music history — Beyoncé's Lemonade — for a reason. The new 30-minute special is a string of music videos for a brand new comedy rap album, which is also entitled The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience. The release is named after Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, two Oakland A's baseball players who became known as the Bash Brothers in the 1980s for setting records in how many home runs they hit. They also became famous for their rampant use of steroids.
The Lonely Island's visual album tracks the rise and fall of the Bash Brothers, starring Andy Samberg as Jose Conseco and Akiva Schaffer as Mark McGwire. The two swagger through ridiculous rap songs about silk robes and bench-pressing bikini babes, all the while bragging about the worrying amount of steroids they inject and eventually end up crying about their daddy issues and turning on each other. The group's third member, Jorma Taccone, notably only pops up for a few seconds throughout the entire special, but he does get his own goofy solo song over the end credits.
The full 11-track Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience album by the Lonely Island is now available on all music streaming services, released at the same time as the visual album.
Along with sending up Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience is also a very clear spoof of Beyoncé's 2016 visual album Lemonade, which was also surprise released on streaming. In transitional scenes between music videos, Andy Samberg and Akiva Schaffer mimic memorable scenes from Lemonade, such as falling slowly in a body of water and reciting spoken word verses over black-and-white imagery.
There are also a ton of surprising celebrity cameos throughout the music video collection. Jenny Slate and New Girl star Hannah Simone play '80s business ladies in "Oakland Nights," which also features a crooning Sterling K. Brown. And on "IHOP Parking Lot," Maya Rudolph, Stephanie Beatriz, and Haim sing out as an increasingly demanding girl group.
This actually is not the first time that Andy Samberg has skewered sports stars in a surprise streaming project. In recent years, he has top-lined two HBO mockumentaries dramatizing ridiculous feats in athletics: 2015's 7 Days in Hell and 2017's Tour de Pharmacy.
The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience dropped just weeks before the Lonely Island will set out on their first-ever concert tour, which kicks off at Bonnaroo on June 16.