"Robert Goulet" (Coconut Bangers Ball)
Andy Samberg, cast member, 2005-2012: There was a run of Will Ferrell sketches when I was just finishing college, or right out of college, where my brain exploded open. A lot of people who get into comedy have those seminal moments where you're like, "Whoa, you're allowed to do this? Adults can do this?" The Robert Goulet Coconut Bangers Ball compilation CD commercial was like that for me.
The premise was Goulet was doing an infomercial for a new CD he's releasing, which is all rap covers. It's called Coconut Bangers Ball, just the fucking wackest name ever. The sketch combined the overt whiteness of Robert Goulet with all this Nineties rap. That was right in my wheelhouse. It referenced "Thong Song" and "Big Poppa" and all this shit in super-super-hokey Goulet style, which was basically me and all my friends' joke all through high school. It was exciting to see the stuff we were into acknowledged on TV.
At that point, Ferrell was just on fire. My friends and I were tuning in every week to see what Ferrell and Adam McKay were cooking up. What insane thing were they gonna try and get away with?
SNL has this tradition where you just sort of say the name of a famous person, but then your impression turns into this entire other character that's just a lunatic. I did it when I started doing Nicholas Cage on "Update." We knew nothing of Robert Goulet. I mean, I knew who he was, but it wasn't like the world was chomping at the bit for a Goulet impression. It was the kinda thing we loved doing when we were at the show, too. Seth Meyers would give us playful shit about how we'd always pull references from 15 years ago that had nothing to do with a current event. He'd be like, "[Fake laugh] That's not topical at all. No one's talking about it."
Ferrell's the greatest. I was there one of the times he hosted. He's the most delightful guy and so laid-back and quiet, and then he'll be in the room when you're writing and he'll pitch something that you can't believe he just thought of it 'cause it's so good. And then you find yourself in one of those sketches or watching one of those sketches, and it transcends the nuts and bolts of the show. You're into a different territory, which is just joy.