The Lonely Island had to 'disavow' “Hot Rod ”for years after it flopped: 'There were some rough times'

Akiva Schaffer says the lighthearted stuntman film also got unfair comparisons to "Napoleon Dynamite" and "Jackass."

Not even the Lonely Island's ancestors could've protected them from the reaction they faced after their 2007 movie Hot Rod flopped at the box office. 

The comedy trio — composed of members Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, and Akiva Schaffer — recently revealed that they had to downplay and poke fun at their lighthearted stuntman comedy for years after it made just $5.3 million back of its $25 million budget on its opening weekend.

"There was a couple years though where it was not a big punchline, but where if it came up, you had to disavow it," Schaffer said on the latest episode of The Lonely Island and Seth Meyers Podcast. "Like, even on talk shows, you'd have to, like, really make sure you made fun of it before they did kind of a thing."

<p>Everett</p> Andy Samberg in 'Hot Rod'


Andy Samberg in 'Hot Rod'

Related: Lonely Island members regret being really dirty or scary 'with no warning' on SNL

Samberg didn't quite feel the same way, however. "You'd have to talk about that it made no money. We always stood by it creatively, though,” he pointed out, pausing when Schaffer made an unsure noise. "No?"

"So-so," Schaffer replied. "I think there were some rough times where we did." 

Seth Meyers, who wrote several jokes for the film, also noted that "people love it when a movie that feels like an SNL movie doesn't work" in general, to which they all agreed.

Taccone added, "[It's] exactly what happened with MacGruber — it's the exact same thing."

Produced by Lorne Michaels, Hot Rod follows amateur stuntman Rod Kimble (Samberg) as he performs a series of hilariously bad stunts in order to afford life-saving surgery for his stepfather, Frank (Ian McShane), so that he can beat him up and earn his respect. The comedy boasts a star-studded cast that includes fellow Saturday Night Live alum Bill Hader as well as Isla Fisher, Danny McBride, Sissy Spacek, and Will Arnett.

Related: Lonely Island members worried everyone at SNL hated them after 'Lazy Sunday'

Reviews comparing Hot Rod to Napoleon Dynamite and Jackass also complicated its release. "A lot of people being like, 'It wants to be like Napoleon Dynamite, but it's not,'" Samberg recalled. "And we were like, 'We weren't trying to do that. We were trying to do those other movies [previously mentioned in the episode, like Road House].'"

Schaffer added that Hot Rod being compared to Jackass was particularly funny because professional stunts were "not our thing" and not what they were trying to evoke with Rod's shenanigans. He noted, "The Jackass and the Napoleon Dynamite — you needed a bunch of years to where nobody would think about that stuff, because it has nothing to do with 'em."

It took a few years, Schaffer said, but Hot Rod eventually found its people after it was put on Netflix. "I think that was four or five years after it came out, because it was on HBO or whatever and Comedy Central for a while," he said. "And then when it got on Netflix is when I noticed it shift in a bigger way."

Listen to the full podcast episode above.

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.