Nicki Minaj on SNL: Top 10 Digital Short songs
Nicki Minaj was the musical guest on this week's SNL. Her performances were good -- she's an undeniable presence -- but her star turn was in a digital short called "The Creep." In the last half-decade, that's where some of SNL's most memorable non-Sarah Palin moments have been. Where did everyone's favorite Harajuku Barbie fit into the musical dick-joke canon? We count down the top ten digital-short musical numbers below.
10. Shy Ronnie
The digital-short gags work best when they are straight-up genre parodies. Plenty of that coming, but Shy Ronnie doesn't quite get there. The weight of the joke is instead passed to a hopelessly meek MC and making Rihanna's speaking voice an auto-tuned melody. It has its moments, but it gets a lot better.
9. Iran So Far
This is the digital-short wheelhouse: Take a Top 40 genre and re-create it exactly on some ludicrous subject. Here it's the soft-rock ballad on the subject of a totalitarian world leader. Adam Levine does the sad-eye thing as well as he does in his usual shtick. Negative points for the semi-current-affairs hook -- the best exist in their own self-contained worlds.
8. The Creep
There's a lot to love here: The John Waters cameo, the awesome sight gags of the three Lonely Island dudes creeping up on alarmed women. And Nicki Minaj is such a natural fit -- she's been playing convincing characters all along in her music. But it doesn't feel as natural as the best on this list.
7. Mother Lovers
Our favorite tacky-suit-wearing '70s crooners reprise their "Dick in a Box" roles, this time in the service of fucking each other's mothers. Justin Timberlake obviously loves doing this sort of thing (parody videos, not fucking his friend's mother), and Lonely Island has never found a stronger musician collaborator. This one, while not quite as good as the original, is still pretty great.
6. I Just Had Sex
It's all killer from here on in. Akon does Akon, and the beauty here is in reduction: It's basically just a lover-man anthem except, you know, really frank and specific. Bonus points for sporting cameos from Blake Lively and Jessica Alba.
5. Lazy Sunday
The first great digital short has held up remarkably well. No big-name guest stars, no production value, but Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell don't need it. Gangsta rap on the subjects of shitty kids' movies, cupcakes and Google maps. Still awesome.