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Guess "Saturday Night Live" was getting a little lonely.
It's been over eight months since Andy Samberg left "SNL" and the Lonely Island debuted a digital short. But last weekend, not only did Samberg pop up for a cameo, but he, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone presented a brand-new short, "YOLO," to everyone's surprise and delight.
The music video, which also starred host Adam Levine and musical guest Kendrick Lamar, tweaked the "You Only Live Once" catchphrase, turning it into a cautionary anthem instead. The song became an instant hit, shooting to the top of the iTunes Top 10 Comedy Songs chart and racking up nearly 3.5 million views on YouTube.
Lonely Island is well-used to the megasuccess of the videos. One of their earliest shorts, 2005's "Lazy Sunday," was a runaway viral video success that some even credit with the sale of YouTube. The next year, "D--- in a Box," starring Justin Timberlake, received more than 28 million views and won a Creative Arts Emmy.
The last short, aired on Samberg's final show, was the sequel "Lazy Sunday 2," which was one of Hulu's top 5 most-watched clips of 2012.
But despite Lonely Island's absence, "SNL" hasn't suffered greatly ratings-wise, delivering average to above-average ratings this season, according to TV by the Numbers. And the show has featured other equally hilarious non-Island digital shorts, like "Lincoln" with Louis C.K.
Meanwhile, Lonely Island's been working on tracks for an upcoming album, on which "YOLO" will be included. It's possible we'll see more of their digital shorts on "SNL" as they prep and promote the album.
So Lonely Island wins, "SNL" wins, and the audience definitely wins.