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Andy Samberg Talks About Going From SNL to ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’

Andy Samberg Brooklyn Nine Nine

Andy Samberg, star of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and the show’s creators and executive producers Dan Goor and Mike Schur, sat down with CableTV to discuss their new series and what viewers could expect this season.

Q: What was it about the cops genre that you wanted to kind of focus on for a sitcom?

Schur: When Dan and I first started thinking of ideas for shows, we started talking about the idea of doing a cop comedy, and we pretty quickly realized that there hadn’t been a half hour cop comedy in a while, and that, in this day and age where there is 10 million shows about every genre, every setting, every location that is possibly imaginable by the human brain, that made it seem like kind of an exciting challenge. And we were both fans of Barney Miller and we have fond memories of Barney Miller, and just the more we talked about it the more it seemed like something that, at least in the half hour network comedy world was at least somewhat unexplored territory, I guess. As soon as we came to that conclusion and we started talking about it, we just liked the idea more and more and we kind of stuck with it.

Samberg: Well, I definitely was going to get to wear a cool leather jacket, which was appealing, and honestly, I’ve always enjoyed cop comedies as well as cop dramas as well as cop films and T.V. I like the procedural aspect of it, and I also really like the work place aspect of it. When it comes to work place comedies there is really no one else I would want to work with than these dudes.

Q: How is working on Nine-Nine better and different than working on SNL?

Samberg: It’s better in that, for me any way, it’s much less stressful because the hardest part of SNL, for me, was having to create something new every week. And with this I have, basically just scripts handed to me every week that are already great and a bunch of jokes that are already written, which is the hardest part of comedy, in my opinion. So in that regard it’s been a lot less stressful for me.

Q: I’d like you to speak a moment about how you feel about your success starting from SNL, going into the movies, and now you’re a lead character in a terrific sitcom. Tell me how that feels.

Samberg: It feels more and more impossible every time I do something new. When I was 8 years old, I decided I wanted to do SNL and that was pretty much all I thought about until I was actually on it. So everything from the point I got to audition, really, has been icing. I’m incredibly grateful for it all and to be able to have done movies and to have done SNL and now this. It’s so far beyond what I imagined happening for me. I thought that I would probably try and do standup for a while, unsuccessfully, and then get a different job and be sad. Yeah, it feels incredible. I feel incredibly lucky.

Q: Is Captain Holt testing detective Peralta’s ability to do his job or is he kind of jealous of how smart he is in solving the crimes, and will they ever be happy with each other?

Samberg: I don’t think that he’s testing his ability so much as his potential. He sees that Jake is a good detective with a lot of good instincts, but that he could be a really great one and a leader. And he’s choosing to be lazy and selfish and play in his own lane, and he’s challenging him to be more.

Schur: When Dan and I first started conceiving of the character in the show, we had this character detail for Jake that he was the kind of kid in high school that bragged to his friends and would say, “I didn’t even study for that test and I got a B.” And the idea was that Holt comes along and says, “Hey, you should study and get an A.” That was the essential dynamic of the two characters.

Q: Does Andre Braugher get to ask, “What’s wrong with you?” a variation of that of Andy Samberg?

Schur: Yes. The answer is yes. Most of the episodes involve Andy’s character, Jake Peralta, doing something which requires Andre Braugher’s character to say some version of, “What the hell is wrong with you?” That’s a pretty constant theme. For example, right now, during this conference call Andy is eating a giant bag of beef jerky. I think if Captain Holt were here he would be staring blank faced at Andy and saying, “What is wrong with you?”

Samberg: “Peralta, that’s way too much sodium for you.” Not to mention…

Catch Andy Samberg in Brooklyn Nine-Nine Tuesdays at 8:30pm EST on FOX.

Photo Courtesy of Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Matt Hoyle/FOX.

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Monica Gleberman began writing in 2000. She has been published on CNN and in the Suffolk Times, Examiner, The Daily Collegian, Demand Studios, Patch, and The Tattoo.

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