A lawsuit filed last week against Saturday Night Live’s Andy Samberg and The Lonely Island is no laughing matter. According to documents obtained by EW, St. Louis musicians Aleric ”Rick tha Ruler” Banks and Monique Hines claim they created and copyrighted the music forming the basis for SNL digital shorts “Shy Ronnie” and “Like A Boss.” Banks and Hines say they sent master recordings to Samberg and his bandmates Akiva Shaffer and Jorma Taccone, who then recorded their own lyrics over the plaintiff’s music. The music for “Like a Boss” appeared on SNL April 4, 2009. “Shy Ronnie” aired Dec. 5, 2009, and was nominated for a 2010 Emmy.
NBC Universal, which owns SNL, and Universal Republic Records are also named in the suit. Banks and Hines claim they have received neither credit nor royalties for their music despite petitions to Universal Music Group. They are seeking all profits gained from the skits, plus attorney’s fees, unspecified additional damages, and interest.
NBC Universal has no comment on the litigation.