Comic and actor Andy Samberg has risen to become a major comedy player and a multi-viral hit with The Lonely Island comedy troupe alongside Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer, as a cast member of Saturday Night Live, and in his movies - most recently “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping”.
But it’s his role in the multi-award winning “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” that has really put him front and centre.
The Huffington Post perhaps best describes Samberg’s impact on comedy to date; “Andy elevated dick jokes, awkward faces and satirical spoofs to an art form, thus solidifying his place in comedy history.”
With that, here are 10 of Andy Samberg’s greatest hits.
Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals
In 2008 on SNL Samberg uncannily and hilariously imitated Mark Wahlberg talking to (live) animals in a perfectly pitched Boston accent. Why not?
“Hey dog, how’s it goin’?..... So you’re a dog right, what’s that all about ? Say hi to your mother for me ok?”
The sketch became an instant viral hit but Wahlberg didn’t seem pleased, at least initially, telling MTV, “Uh, I didn’t think it was as funny as I’d hoped,” and vowing on late night TV to punch Samberg in his “big” nose the next time he saw him. Turns out, it was all in jest, with Wahlberg later appearing on SNL to “confront” Samberg about his sketch.
Cupcakes and The Chronicles of Narnia
The first big viral hit for The Lonely Island came in 2005 with “Lazy Sunday” not only racking up the views (5 million at the time) but actually introducing people to a little platform called YouTube. A rap by two Joe Schmoes (SNL’s Sandberg and Chris Parnell) with a lot of attitude, whose rebellious Sunday was all about catching The Chronicles of Narnia and eating cupcakes.
“When a gift needs givin’”
“Dick in a Box” is one of The Lonely Island’s most viral of viral hits, the SNL digital short memorably featuring Samberg and regular collaborator Justin Timberlake in full 90’s R&B getup crooning about the perfect gift for a lady…… their junk in a nicely-bowed gift box.
One lyric pearl:
“See I’m wise enough to know when a gift needs givin’. And I’ve got just the one”
A gigantic hit, the short went on to win a 2007 Emmy for “Best Original Music and Lyrics”.
“When Bruce Willis was dead at the end of The Six Sense….”
With the type of undergraduate lunacy The Lonely Island crew had become known for, the music clip for “Jizz In My Pants” featured a slicker (and Pet Shop Boys style) aesthetic with the same farcical brand of crude humour to reveal those times when dudes get a little over excited.
Quality lines included, “And when we’re holdin’ hands it’s like having sex to me,” and “You say I’m premature, I just call it ecstasy.”
And when most of us were reeling from the revelation that Bruce Willis was a ghost in “The Six Sense”, Samberg’s character was getting jizzy with it.
Host with the most
Samberg’s hosting of the 2015 Emmys produced plenty of highlights including a skit riffing on how it feels to not have caught up on the surplus of quality TV - “They treat me like a leper and so the leper hides” – coming up with a title for a Mad Men prequel “Dick Whitman: Horny Hobo” and this burn to a certain predominately-nosed actor.
“I love our next presenter because he is one of the only people on earth I can stand next to and say ‘I’ve got a cute little button nose.’ Please welcome Adrien Brody!”
“Cool guys don’t look at explosions.”
So true. Samberg and his Lonely Island compadres were really on to something here, expressing what every action movie fan had never quite been able to in a 2009 MTV Movie Awards skit featuring movie action men blowing stuff up and never looking back.
“Cool guys don’t look at explosions. They blow things up, and then walk away,” sang Samberg channeling Bruce Springsteen.
One of the many quality lines of dialogue to come from Samberg’s Detective Jake Peralta in “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, this one demonstrates both the character’s immaturity and wit perfectly.
"Actually, someone reported that they couldn’t find your head. But we found it; it was up your butt. You’re a fireman, you should know how to treat that burn."
And this: “It's a tarantula! I call him Jake Jr, a.k.a. Spidey Klum, a.k.a. Mrs Doubtspider, a.k.a. Joe Spiden, a.k.a. Tarantula Bassett, a.k.a. Spidermot Mulroney.”
Never let go of fart jokes
There’s always room for fart jokes Samberg told Glamour Magazine in 2013, no matter how successful you become.
“The older you get, the funnier fart jokes are. Any 20-year-old can make fart jokes. But when Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner do it? Holy sh*t! If you let go of fart jokes, you've let go of a piece of humanity.”
Beyoncé got more than she bargained for in this hilarious skit when a video director played by Paul Rudd decides to cast three male backup dancers (Samberg, Timberlake and Bobby Moynihan) to “film” the music clip for her 2008 hit “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it)”.
The boys, donned in black leotards and high heels played it camp, improvising the famous dance moves and creeping on Beyoncé’s personal space to cringe-worthy comic effect. These men were indeed, as Timberlake’s character put it, “warmed up like dance biscuits.”
Samberg can be seen every weeknight on Brooklyn Nine Nine airing on SBS VICELAND at 6:35pm, with new episodes from its fourth season on Wednesday nights at 8pm. Catch up on recent episodes on SBS On Demand: