Mind Behind SNL’s “Lake Beach” Parody Says Modern Country Songs Describe “The Worst Hangs Of All Time”


If you happened to watch Saturday Night Live when comedian Nate Bargatze hosted, or you’ve been on social media in the past week or so, you’ve probably heard SNL’s country music parody titled “Lake Beach.”

The music video pokes fun at modern day pop country music, and also takes a jab at those “Lake Lifers” who like to ride their boats up to a sandy bank of the lake to hang out and drink beer. For some people, the “Lake Beach” music video will hit scarily close to home.

And though Tennessee native and comedian Nate Bargatze probably threw in a couple of ideas for the sketch, it was SNL cast member James Austin Johnson that was the real brains behind the country parody.

Johnson actually splits his time between Nashville, Tennessee and New York City, New York, staying in the Big Apple when he needs to be there for SNL (and other enquiries).

James was a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers recently, and the topic of his popular sketch idea “Lake Beach” came up. Seth asked him how he came up with the concept for the parody, to which Johnson replied:

“I’ve heard a lot of country music, and when you’re in Nashville as much as we are, you hear a lot of country music, whether you want to or not, pal.

Yeah, I think the thing that I started to pick up on about pop country is that they’re always partying. If they’re not in church, they’re partying.”

Johnson allowed his Nashville music listening to marinate, and eventually cooked up a comedy skit that he thought perfectly encapsulated (and more importantly made fun of) pop country’s party-themed tendencies.

He went on to tell Meyers:

“The parties that they’re describing in these pop country songs sound like the worst hangs of all time.

So that’s kind of what got me started about…thinking about the song was like ‘five people I know, 40 I don’t know, hanging by a lake beach.'”

You can hear some of the rough ideas for the lyrics of the song in the interview above, or you can dive right into the actual music video that they released along with the parody.

The song features an ensemble of SNL cast members (including Johnson himself in one of the lead roles), Nate Bargatze (who was hosting SNL) and Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters (who played a character that took corn hole way too seriously).

I will say… generic, pop country party songs can be God-awful, and most of them are, but having a few beers with your buddies by the lake? How is that the worst hang of all time?

Take a look:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock