Kidding around too much can get you kicked out of class, but it paid off big time for Andy Samberg, who parlayed a youthful flair for irreverent comedy into a career that began with YouTube videos that landed him a seven-year stint on Saturday Night Live. Since then, he’s added movies like I Love You, Man, That’s My Boy, and Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping to his resume, and in 2013 scored an instant hit with the Fox cop comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which earned him a Golden Globe Award the following fall.
Next Tuesday at 8/7c, the series returns for a fourth season that finds Samberg’s Detective Jake Peralta and Captain Ray Holt (Andre Braugher) in Witness Protection in Florida—under the care of a US Marshal played by Maya Rudolph—hiding out from Mafioso Jimmy ‘The Butcher’ Figgis (Adrian Pimento), who has vowed to kill them.
So we asked him about the show, animation voices and what it means to be a gentleman in 2016. His answer to that question may surprise you…
“I’m in the enviable position of being proud of everything I’ve done, pretty much.”
What’s going on as the new season begins?
We pick up where last season left off. It’s a few months down the line. Jake and Holt are still in Florida in Witness Protection. Jake has a new look, he gets a nice Florida makeover. He and Holt have new names, new jobs and they’re acclimating nicely.
Are you shooting any of it in Florida?
I wish. We don’t shoot in Brooklyn either, much to my chagrin! It’s all L.A.
What did you do in your off time?
Another sports documentary for HBO. It’s about doping and cycling. It’s tentatively called Tour De Pharmacy. We’ve got a crazy cast. Will Forte’s in it, Orlando Bloom, Daveed Diggs, Phylicia Rashad. Freddie Highmore, John Cena, James Marsden. We have a little more to shoot but most of it is done. It’s going to be really fun.
You’ve been doing a lot of animation voices. I hear there’s a third Hotel Transylvania coming up.
Yeah, and I’m the lead voice in Storks. It’s about how storks used to deliver babies and now they deliver packages because a stork fell in love with a baby because it was so cute, so storks were ruled unfit to deliver babies anymore. Now they’re working for an Amazon-like company called Cornerstore.
What are you proudest of so far in your career?
I don’t think I can pick one thing. I’m in the enviable position of being proud of everything I’ve done, pretty much. The time I spent at SNL was really special. I love Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I love the movies I’ve made with Akiva [Schaffer] and Jorma [Taccone], like Popstar. I love these HBO things that I’m working on. It’s been really great.
Do you have a to-do list for the future?
I never really look at it that way. I take it case by case. It happens spontaneously. If I get offered something, either I think I can do it or I can’t. And when I’m creating something, it’s always really exciting to me.
What does it mean to be a gentleman in 2016?
You’ve got to be a feminist.
Photo: John P. Fleenor/NBC