Comedy: (3 Stars)
Human Decency: (4 Stars)
Now on Netflix
Picture it: there’s a young stage actor with all the talent in the world. He hasn’t reached his potential because he isn’t great at memorizing lines and he has trouble keeping his weight down.
One day, the actor starts taking amphetamines. Now, he has the mental focus to learn his lines quickly and the physical energy to get in good shape. Before long, he has reached his potential and he is winning Tony Awards and wowing audiences every night.
The drugs are clearly bad for the actor. He will be less healthy and his life will be shorter.
However, we don’t think the actor is a bad man, right? We don’t think he is a cheater who is ruining theater. We don’t think it is okay to boo him while he’s on stage entertaining us. We don’t think his pill-fueled brilliance is a personal insult to the memory of Laurence Olivier and Marlon Brando.
And yet, our society is vicious and unforgiving to baseball players who did steroids. Not me. I do not judge them, I do not hate them, and I do not think that they ruined the sport.
It makes some people so mad that Mark McGwire used steroids to beat Roger Maris’s single season home run record. I don’t see the problem. I do not care about the feelings of Roger Maris’s non-sentient spirit. I care about the feelings of the 10-year-old boy at the ballpark with his father. He doesn’t want to see a long fly ball caught on the warning track; he wants to see that ball go over the fence.
Baseball is entertainment. And juiced up jocks are entertaining.
The comedy trio Lonely Island (Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg, and Jorma Taccon) were those 10-year-old boys in the Bay Area in 1988 when Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco used their big bats and chemically enhanced muscles to create an exciting championship team.
“The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience” imagines that in addition to playing baseball, the duo also rapped like the Beastie Boys.
This sets the stage for a fun half-hour of songs about hitting, high-fiving, weight-lifting, and injecting illegal drugs.
Haters will say that the movie glorifies steroid use. They are wrong. Getting buff, smashing home runs, and winning pennants is objectively glorious.
All the movie does is tell the truth about steroids. Steroids made McGwire and Canseco better at their jobs. But the drugs were not good for their kidneys, their livers, their tempers, or their sex organs.
The Lonely Island aren’t the funniest people in showbiz anymore. But they are the most decent and non-judgmental, and that is more important. They always have fun; they never poke fun.
If Lonely Island makes a song with you or about you, you can be sure that your career and your self-esteem will improve. Just ask Michael Bolton.
Or ask Mr. Canseco himself, who watched the Netflix special and promptly tweeted about it:
@thelonelyisland just watched The Unauthorized Bash Brothers video! I can’t stop laughing. Loved it.
And Lonely Island promptly tweeted back:
This tweet genuinely made our year. We love you. Thank you, sir!
It would have been easy to laugh at Jose Canseco. Instead, the Lonely Island guys made him laugh. And a country full of division just got a little closer.
Whether it’s an actor on Adderall or a right-fielder on anabolic steroids, there is no reason to hate and there’s no reason to judge. They are people like us. The Lonely Island proves that you can have a lot of fun without hurting anyone’s feelings. That’s why they are national treasures.