SNL hits one out of the West Village

SNL HITS ONE OUT OF THE WEST VILLAGE….Slate’s Josh Levin wrote late last week, “If you haven’t seen Saturday Night Live’s Chronicles of Narnia rap, then you don’t have any friends. Or at least any friends with Internet access.” That’s probably a little overstated, but only a little. The SNL video has generated widespread media attention, and yesterday, even got the Paper of Record treatment.

For most aspiring rappers, the fastest route to having material circulated around the World Wide Web is to produce a work that is radical, cutting-edge and, in a word, cool. But now a pair of “Saturday Night Live” performers turned unexpected hip-hop icons are discovering that Internet stardom may be more easily achieved by being as nerdy as possible.

In “Lazy Sunday,” a music video that had its debut on the Dec. 17 broadcast of “SNL,” two cast members, Chris Parnell and Andy Samberg, adopt the brash personas of head-bopping, hand-waving rappers. But as they make their way around Manhattan’s West Village, they rhyme with conviction about subjects that are anything but hard-core: they boast about eating cupcakes from the Magnolia Bakery, searching for travel directions on MapQuest and achieving their ultimate goal of attending a matinee of the fantasy movie “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”

It is their obliviousness to their total lack of menace – or maybe the ostentatious way they pay for convenience-store candy with $10 bills – that makes the video so funny, but it is the Internet that has made it a hit.

It may sound odd, but a couple of very whitebread guys rapping like Run DMC about cupcakes, The Notebook, and Narnia is hilarious. You can watch it online, for free, by way of NBC or iTunes.

On a related note, when was the last time Saturday Night Live was this successful in creating a cultural sensation?