Great news for fans of the Lonely Island: The musical comedy team consisting of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone is dropping a surprise mystery project on Netflix at midnight PST on May 23. The group's Twitter account posted a cryptic video on Wednesday afternoon teasing a "visual poem" that will be released on Netflix at midnight. So... what is A Lonely Island Visual Poem, as the enigmatic teaser calls it, and should fans be expecting new music, a new movie, some sketch comedy, or a completely unexpected foray into spoken word poetry? Let's go over all the possible directions that this mystery project could go in.
The mystery project is particularly difficult to predict since the Lonely Island have excelled in various sectors of the entertainment industry. The trio first gained fame when their digital shorts, which were often musical, were being featured on Saturday Night Live during Andy Samberg's tenure as a cast member. Their first short to really garner mainstream success was 2005's "Lazy Sunday," which was followed by other mega-popular shorts like "D*ck in a Box" and "I'm on a Boat." The trio's original songs for those shorts eventually led to them releasing their own comedic rap albums. They also went on to create and star in their own movies, such as 2007's Hot Rod and the 2016 pop music spoof Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.
With the group jumping between sketch comedy, music, and movies, it is hard to really predict what this new mystery project could be, but there are a few options that feel like they may be the best guesses.
That little teaser is not helpful at all, but we can still go over some options for what A Lonely Island Visual Poem might be:
Is it a concert documentary?
This option is a bit of a stretch, but it still feels likely to me given the fact that Netflix has been releasing a lot of concert documentaries recently (Beyonce and Taylor Swift have both released on the platform in the last six months) and the Lonely Island is preparing to kick off their first-ever concert tour in June. The major problem with this theory is that the group actually still have not started touring, since their first show will be at Bonnaroo on June 16. It is still possible, though, since the Lonely Island's first live concert ever happened last summer at Clusterfest. Releasing footage of that performance on Netflix could be the perfect way to get fans pumped for their fast-approaching June tour.
Is it a new visual album, à la Beyonce's Lemonade?
The term "visual poem" and a surprise release should automatically put every pop culture fan in the mindset of Beyonce's out-of-nowhere visual album Lemonade. The Lonely Island may be doing the exact same thing: dropping an entire album's worth of new songs along with interconnected music videos. Again, since the group is about to go on their first-ever tour, this theory makes sense, as it gives them new material to promote and perform along with old classics.
Is it a new collection of digital shorts?
If this project is not music, then perhaps the Lonely Island is returning to their roots to release some digital shorts or sketches that they have been working on. After all, the trio no longer has Saturday Night Live to air their sketch ideas, so they could have year's worth of shorts saved up just waiting to be released. Plus, the trio recently produced Tim Robinson's new Netflix series I Think You Should Leave, which was filled with hilarious comedy sketches.
Is it a new movie?
It feels less likely than all of the other options that the Lonely Island would have been able to keep an entire feature film completely secret up until the day of its release, but it is still a possibility, as the trio have produced and starred in their own movies before.
We will just have to wait until the clock strikes midnight and it is officially Thursday, May 23 to see what the Lonely Island has in store with this Netflix project, so maybe try to squeeze a nap in this afternoon so you can be ready for it.