"Dick in a Box" is the American comedy troupe Lonely Island's debut single featuring singer Justin Timberlake. On December 16, 2006, the song and music video debuted as an SNL Digital Short on Saturday Night Live. The video shows two R&B ballad singers from the early 1990s, Jonathan (Andy Samberg) and Raif (Timberlake) crooning a holiday song about making a gift of their penises wrapped in boxes (strategically placed) topped with bows for their girlfriends.
The song came from the executive producer of Saturday Night Live, Lorne Michaels, who asked Samberg to write a track to illustrate the singing abilities of Timberlake. Dick in a Box" was recorded in one night, while the following day was filmed with the corresponding music video." Short debut less than a few hours later, after being tested for material by NBC managers. The word "dick", a recurrent word in the chorus, was bleeped 16 times in its initial network airing. Following its broadcast debut, Saturday Night Live producers agreed to publish the uncensored version of the short online under the title 'Special Christmas Package.' "Dick in a Box" became a big viral success on the internet, like its predecessor, "Lady Sunday". A very favorable audience and critical reception were given to it. In 2007, the song received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics. "In his successive SNL visits, in 2009 with "Motherlover" and 3-Way (The Golden Rule)" in 2011, the popularity of the shot contributed to the current partnerships with Timberlake.
The song started to evolve on the Tuesday before the airdate of the show (December 12), when executive producer Lorne Michaels called Andy Samberg into his office on Saturday Night Live and asked him to try and compose something funny to highlight Timberlake and Samberg's singing talents, fellow Lonely Island members Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. Taccone's brother, Asa Taccone, and Katreese Barnes, the associate music director. The writing team initially came up with a different concept for Timberlake, Samberg said but show honcho Lorne Michaels insisted that his musical side be exploited. Taccone came up with the idea of 'Dick in a Box.' On Thursday afternoon, Samberg presented a rough draft of the song to Timberlake, along with Schaffer and Taccone, and after reworking it to Timberlake's specifications, Samberg and Timberlake recorded the song around midnight that night in Samberg's office. Timberlake did not even blink upon hearing the proposal, according to Samberg, and was instantly open to recording it. Timberlake remembered that during its production, the musicians laughed hysterically, and that the delirium of no sleep added to the song's humor. While during the recording, his voice cracked a few times and he was a little nervous working with Timberlake, Samberg said that his insanely easy-going personality put him at ease. The pair spent a lot of Friday and Saturday shooting a music video in and around New York City, and it wasn't until 4 p.m. on the day the show was broadcast, less than eight hours before the show went live.
"Two balladeers (played by Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake) aka "2:30 AM, singing about their sweethearts giving Christmas gifts (played by Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig). There is a gift-wrapped box attached to his waist for each singer. The lyrics provide step-by-step guidance on how the gift can be made.
- Cut in a box a hole
- Put your junk in the box, right?
- Make the box open for her and that's the way to do that.
They also sing about how a "dick in a box is better than any other gift and is appropriate for any holiday or occasion." After taking their boxes backstage at the CMAs, they are both arrested and taken away by the NYPD at the end of the film, probably for indecent exposure.
The theme of the video and the musical performance were influenced by R&B/ new jack swing acts including Color Me Badd, Jodeci and R. Kelly at the beginning of the 1990s, when growing up, the Lonely Island and Timberlake were fans of such acts. The location also resembles a scene in the 1982 film Diner by Barry Levinson, in which Mickey Rourke puts his penis inside a popcorn box at a movie theater to win a bet, and a scene in the 1980 film La Boum by Claude Pinoteau, in which a junior high school student performs the same act for fun.