Akiva Schaffer

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Akiva Schaffer
Akiva Schaffer by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Schaffer at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con
Born (1977-12-01) December 1, 1977 (age 44)[1]
Berkeley, California, U.S.
MediumInternet, stand-up, music, television, film
Years active2001–present
GenresSketch comedy, situational comedy, comedy hip hop
Spouse
(m. 2010)
Children2
Websitethelonelyisland.com

Akiva D. Schaffer (/əˈkvə ˈʃæfər/;[2] born December 1, 1977) is an American film director, comedian, actor, and writer. He is a member of the comedy group The Lonely Island along with Andy Samberg and Jorma Taccone. He began his career with The Lonely Island making videos for Channel 101. In 2005, Saturday Night Live hired the trio, Schaffer joining as a writer. In their time at SNL, The Lonely Island pioneered the digital short format, creating some of the most popular sketches of all time, including "Lazy Sunday", "I Just Had Sex", "I'm on a Boat", and "Dick in a Box". After SNL, Schaffer went on to direct movies including Hot Rod, The Watch, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, and Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers. The Lonely Island made three albums, Incredibad, Turtleneck & Chain, and The Wack Album. Schaffer also produced a number of TV shows and movies some of which include MacGruber, PEN15, I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson, and Palm Springs.

Early life[edit]

Schaffer was born in Berkeley, California to Jewish parents from New York.[3][4]

In 2000, he graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in film.[4]

Career[edit]

We were putting ourselves through boot camp without any idea of what we were doing it for. We were training ourselves for the jobs we got.[4]

Schaffer at the premiere of Hot Rod in 2007

After college, he and his childhood friends, Andy Samberg and Jorma Taccone, moved to Los Angeles and began making comedy movies.[4] Taccone, the son of theater director Tony Taccone, brought home the film Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, a choice the other men teased as being "too theatrical". The film, however, inspired Schaffer to write an overwrought play, in the style of Tennessee Williams, called The Lonely Island, in reference to their apartment. The name eventually extended to the comedy group itself.[4] On the Internet, Schaffer got his start directing The Lonely Island's The 'Bu, the group's record-breaking contribution to Channel 101, which was a parody of The OC and starred Sarah Chalke as Melissa, as well as Samberg and Taccone.[5] Schaffer has contributed to several other Channel 101 productions as part of the Lonely Island.

In the fall of 2005, Schaffer was hired for Saturday Night Live where he directed, co-wrote, and edited the majority of the SNL Digital Shorts.[4] Some notable shorts/songs include "Lazy Sunday", "I Just Had Sex", "Natalie's Rap", "Dick in a Box", "Peyton Manning for the United Way", "Iran So Far", "Jizz in My Pants", "Boombox", "I'm on a Boat", "Great Day", "Threw It on the Ground", "Jack Sparrow", "Like A Boss", "YOLO", "Semicolon", "Dear Sister", "Spring Break Anthem", "Shy Ronnie", "Ras Trent" and "Motherlover", the sequel to "Dick in a Box".

In 2007, Schaffer directed and acted in the film Hot Rod, which starred Samberg, Taccone, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, Isla Fisher, Ian McShane, and Sissy Spacek, which was produced by SNL's Lorne Michaels.[6][better source needed]

Schaffer directed the film The Watch starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade, and written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.[7]

The Lonely Island has released three albums (Incredibad, Turtleneck & Chain, The Wack Album) along with two full soundtracks (Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping and The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience).[8] In 2014, the group co-wrote "Everything is Awesome", the theme song to the film, The Lego Movie.[9][better source needed] It was nominated for Best Original Song which they performed at the 2015 Oscars.[10] That same year, Everything Is Awesome was certified platinum by the RIAA, joining their previous platinum singles, "I'm on a Boat" (2×), "I Just Had Sex", "Jizz in My Pants", and the gold-certified single "Like a Boss".

Schaffer was credited as an executive producer on the film MacGruber.[7] The film was co-written and directed by Jorma Taccone.

In 2016 Schaffer co-wrote, co-directed, and co-starred in the Judd Apatow produced feature film, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.[7] The film focuses on pop/rap superstar Conner4Real (Samberg), who goes into a major tailspin and watches his celebrity high life collapse after his new album fails to sell records

He also co-directed/created Michael Bolton's Big, Sexy Valentine's Day Special for Netflix with Scott Aukerman.[7]

Schaffer directed four music videos for the band We Are Scientists and one for the Eagles of Death Metal.[7]

In 2018, Schaffer guest-starred on NBC sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine, portraying Brett Booth in the episode Show me Going.[7]

The Lonely Island co-produced both seasons of I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson, most episodes of which Schaffer has co-directed with Alice Mathias.[7] Also in 2019, they released Netflix's The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience, a visual poem about former Oakland A's legends Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire.[7] That summer, The Lonely Island embarked on their first ever live tour, instantly selling out venues across the United States and drawing some of the biggest crowds of the weekend at the Bonnaroo Festival and Milwaukee’s Summerfest.

Schaffer produced the film Palm Springs,[7] which debuted on Hulu in July 2020 and delivered the largest opening weekend viewership ever for a film on the platform.[7] Prior to launching on Hulu, NEON/Hulu acquired the film for a record-setting $17,500,000.69 at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, making it the biggest deal in the festival's history.[11] Most recently, the film and cast were nominated for five Super Critics Choice Awards, a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Picture, Musical or Comedy, as well as a Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy nomination for Samberg. The film also won a Critics' Choice Movie Awards in the category of Best Comedy and garnered a Writers Guild of America Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.[12][better source needed]

Schaffer also executive produces Hulu's Emmy nominated show, Pen15, starring Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle.[7]

Schaffer is currently directing the Disney film Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers.[7] The film will star Andy Samberg and John Mulaney and is a combination of live action and computer animation. It will release in Spring 2022.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Schaffer is married to comedy writer and actress Liz Cackowski; they have two children.

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Credit(s) Notes
2006 I Want You So Hard (Boy's Bad News) Director Music video
2007 Hot Rod Director, Actor Acting role as Derek
2008 Extreme Movie Writer
2010 MacGruber Executive Producer
2012 The Watch Director
2014 The Lego Movie Producer, Lyrics By For Song ""Everything is Awesome (The Awesome!! Version)",

"Everything is Awesome (Awesome Remixxx!!!)")

2016 Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Director; Producer; Written By; Actor Acting role as Lawrence
2017 Brigsby Bear Producer
2018 7 Splinters in Time Actor Acting role as McFly
2019 The Lego Movie 2 Lyrics By For Song "Super Cool"
2020 I Used to Go Here Producer
2020 Palm Springs Producer
2022 Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers Director
TBA Spy Guys Producer Pre-Production
TBA Macgruber 2 Producer Announced
Television
Year Title Role Notes
2003-2005 The 'Bu Creator; Executive Producer; Writer
2004 MTV Movie Awards Written By
2004 Channel 101 (TV Special) Written By for "Football Town"
2005-2011 Saturday Night Live Writer; Director; Various Characters
2005 MTV Movie Awards Written By
2009 MTV Movie Awards Written By
2014 Brooklyn Nine-Nine Director Episode "Charges and Specs"
2015 Saturday Night Live: 40th Anniversary Special Written By
2016 Party Over Here Executive Producer
2017 Michael Bolton's Big, Sexy Valentine's Day Special Executive Producer; Director, Actor as Alan
2017 Home for the Weekend Executive Producer
2017 The Gorburger Show Executive Producer
2017-2019 I'm Sorry Executive Producer
2018 Alone Together Executive Producer
2018 Brooklyn Nine-Nine Director Episode "The Puzzle Master"
2019 I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson Director; Executive Producer
2019 The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience Director; Executive Producer; Editor; Actor as Mark McGwire
2019 The 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards 2019 Special Material By
2019-2020 PEN15 Executive Producer

Awards[edit]

In 2007, Schaffer won an Emmy for his participation in the production of "Dick in a Box". He was nominated for an Emmy for the song "Motherlover." He was featured in People's Sexiest Bachelor with Andy Samberg, as Sexiest Best Friends. He has also won two Writers Guild of America Award and a Peabody Award for his work on Saturday Night Live. The Lonely Island was nominated in 2009 for a People's Choice Award and a Grammy Award.

Year Award Category Work Result
2007 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics
for the song "Dick In A Box"
Saturday Night Live Won
2007 Writers Guild of America

WGA Award (TV)

Comedy/Variety (Including Talk) - Series Won
2008 Primetime Emmy Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program Nominated
2009 Primetime Emmy Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Series Nominated
2009 Primetime Emmy Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics

For the song "Motherlover"

Nominated
2009 Writers Guild of America

WGA Award (TV)

Comedy/Variety (Including Talk) - Series Won
2010 Primetime Emmy Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics

For the song "Shy Ronnie"

Nominated
2010 Primetime Emmy Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Series Nominated
2010 Grammy Best Rap/Sung Collaboration "I'm On a Boat." Nominated
2010 Writers Guild of America

WGA Award (TV)

Comedy/Variety (Including Talk) - Series Saturday Night Live Won
2011 Primetime Emmy Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics

For the song "Jack Sparrow"

Saturday Night Live Nominated
2011 Primetime Emmy Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics

For the song "3-Way (The Golden Rule)"

Saturday Night Live Nominated
2011 Primetime Emmy Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics

For the song "I Just Had Sex"

Saturday Night Live Nominated
2011 Primetime Emmy Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Series Saturday Night Live Nominated
2012 Grammy Best Comedy Album Turtleneck & Chain Nominated
2012 Improvisation News New York Awards

(INNY Award)

Best Comedy Video Saturday Night Live Won
2012 Writers Guild of America

WGA Award (TV)

Comedy/Variety (Including Talk) - Series Saturday Night Live Nominated
2014 Hollywood Music In Media Awards

(HMMA)

Best Song - Animated Film

For the song "Everything Is Awesome"

The Lego Movie Won
2014 Online Film & Television Association

(OFTA Television Award)

Best Direction in a Comedy Series Brooklyn Nine-Nine Nominated
2014 Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards

(PFCS Award)

Best Original Song

For song "Everything Is Awesome!!!"

The Lego Movie Won
2015 Primetime Emmy Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special

for Saturday Night Live: 40th Anniversary Special

Saturday Night Live: 40th Anniversary Special Nominated
2015 Grammy Best Song Written for Visual Media

For the song "Everything Is Awesome!!!"

The Lego Movie Nominated
2015 International Online Cinema Awards

(INOCA)

Best Original Song

For song "Everything Is Awesome!!!"

The Lego Movie Nominated
2015 Iowa Film Critics Awards Best Song

For song "Everything Is Awesome!!!"

The Lego Movie Nominated
2015 Satellite Awards Best Original Song

For song "Everything Is Awesome!!!"

The Lego Movie Nominated
2016 Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards

(Sierra Award)

Best Song

For song "Finest Girl (Bin Laden Song)"

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Nominated
2018 Writers Guild of America

WGA Award (TV)

Comedy/Variety (Music, Awards, Tributes) - Specials Saturday Night Live: 40th Anniversary Special Nominated
2019 Gotham Independent Film Award Breakthrough Series - Shortform PEN15 Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Akiva D Schaffer, Born 12/01/1977 in California". California Birth Index. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  2. ^ Schaffer, Akiva; Taccone, Jorma (2016). Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (Motion picture).
  3. ^ "The Lonely Island". Cleveland Jewish News. June 21, 2013. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Townsend, Peggy (August 26, 2015). "Alumni Profile / 2000: Akiva Schaffer: It's all funny business for Saturday Night Live alum". UC Santa Cruz News. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  5. ^ Channel 101 - The 'Bu, retrieved April 15, 2021
  6. ^ Schaffer, Akiva (August 3, 2007), Hot Rod (Comedy, Sport), Andy Samberg, Isla Fisher, Ian McShane, Jorma Taccone, Paramount Pictures, Broadway Video, Michaels Goldwyn, retrieved April 15, 2021
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Akiva Schaffer". IMDb. Retrieved April 15, 2021.[better source needed]
  8. ^ "The Lonely Island". www.thelonelyisland.com. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  9. ^ Songfacts. "Everything Is Awesome by Tegan and Sara - Songfacts". www.songfacts.com. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  10. ^ Ugwu, Reggie. "All The Musical Performances From The 2015 Oscars". BuzzFeed. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  11. ^ "Making of 'Palm Springs': How a 22-Day Film Shoot and a Tight Budget Produced a Record-Setting Sundance Hit". The Hollywood Reporter. January 28, 2021. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  12. ^ Palm Springs - IMDb, retrieved April 15, 2021
  13. ^ "John Mulaney 'n Andy Samberg to voice Chip 'n Dale in 'Rescue Rangers' movie for Disney+". EW.com. Retrieved April 16, 2021.

External links[edit]