Justin Timberlake says that the iconic "D**k in a Box" Saturday Night Live sketch was improved by FCC regulations. The Lonely Island song is one of their best-known, thanks to the help of Timberlake and the subject matter. However, it almost didn't come together for various reasons and Timberlake believes the FCC actually helped it happen. It's normally the other way around when entertainers talk about the FCC and their regulations. Most people are fighting against the FCC to get their vision across on TV or terrestrial radio.
In a new interview with popular internet series Hot Ones, Justin Timberlake was asked about performing "D**k in a Box" with The Lonely Island's Andy Samberg on SNL. It's hard to believe, but the song was released nearly 14 year ago. The episode first aired in December 2006 and it features Timberlake and Andy Samberg as two 1990s R&B singers with an interesting idea for a gift. The idea started in the writing room with Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, and Timberlake. The Trolls World Tour star says the idea was based on "a duo of guys who are still stuck in a time, in a certain style: silk suits, the herringbone chains and meticulously sculpted facial hair."
Once they figured out what the basic personality of the characters was going to be, it was time to turn it into a sketch. When Jorma Taccone (The Lonely Island) came up with the whole box idea, Justin Timberlake was immediately sold. It took a little bit of an explanation and then everything fell into place, without the help of anyone else at SNL. Timberlake explains.
"Finally, Jorma [Taccone] says, 'What if we do the old popcorn in the movies prank?' He was like, 'You know the whole d**k in the popcorn.' I was like, 'That sounds super creepy, bro!' To which we then said, 'Yeah, that's totally appropriate for two guys who are completely misled about what's appropriate.'"
The Lonely Island guys, along with Justin Timberlake, spent an entire Friday working on the SNL sketch and finally wrapped shooting on the Saturday show day. At that point, they still weren't 100% on the idea until the FCC showed up to let them know they couldn't say "d**k" in the title or in the song live on the air. "I think the irony of that is, I think the funnier version of that is the bleeped out version," says Timberlake. "I fully believe that that idea wouldn't have been seen all the way through if the big wigs had known what we were doing."
The Lonely Island took a different approach to SNL and made their own digital material and submitted it, instead of pitching live skits. Their work went viral often, starting with their first-ever digital short, "Lazy Sunday." Pairing with Justin Timberlake on "D**k in a Box" took the digital short to new heights and quickly went viral. An official video from SNL was posted on to YouTube a year ago and it has over 5.5 million views. You can check out the video and the interview with Timberlake below, thanks to the First We Feast YouTube channel.