Andy Samberg (born David A. J. Samberg; August 18, 1978) is an American comedian, actor, writer, TV producer, and musician. He is a member of the comedy music group The Lonely Island and was a cast member on Saturday Night Live (2005–2012), where he and his fellow group members have been credited with popularizing the SNL Digital Shorts.
Samberg has been in several films, including Hot Rod (2007), I Love You, Man (2009), That's My Boy (2012), Celeste and Jesse Forever (2012), Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016), and Palm Springs (2020). Samberg has had lead voice roles in Space Chimps (2008), the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs franchise (2009–2013), the Hotel Transylvania film series (2012–2021), and Storks (2016).
Since 2013, he has starred as Jake Peralta in the Fox, and later NBC, police sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine, for which he is also a producer. For his work on the show, he was awarded a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy in 2013.
Early life and education
Samberg was born in Berkeley, California on August 18, 1978. His mother, Marjorie "Margi" (née Marrow), is an elementary school teacher, and his father, Joe, is a photographer. He has two sisters, Johanna and Darrow. At age 5, he told his parents that he wanted to change his name to Andy. Samberg was raised in a Jewish family; he considers himself as "not particularly religious."
In a 2019 episode of Finding Your Roots, hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., Samberg discovered that his mother Marjorie, who was adopted by Jewish parents, is the biological daughter of a Sicilian (Italian) Catholic father named Salvatore Maida, who immigrated in 1925, and a German-Jewish refugee mother named Ellen Philipsborn, who had come to the US in 1938; they met in San Francisco. Samberg's adoptive grandfather was industrial psychologist and philanthropist Alfred J. Marrow, through whom he is a third cousin to US Senator Tammy Baldwin.
Samberg attended elementary school with his future Brooklyn Nine Nine co-star Chelsea Peretti. He discovered Saturday Night Live as a child while sneaking past his parents to watch professional wrestling on television. He was obsessed with the show and his devotion to comedy was frustrating to teachers, who felt he was distracted from his schoolwork.
Samberg graduated from Berkeley High School in 1996, where he became interested in creative writing and has stated that writing classes "were the ones that [he] put all [his] effort into... that's what [he] cared about and that's what [he] ended up doing". He attended college at University of California, Santa Cruz for two years before transferring to New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where he graduated in 2000. While at NYU, writer Murray Miller was his roommate.
Acting and filmmaking
Samberg majored in experimental film. He became an online star and made his own comedy videos with his two friends Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. When YouTube was created in 2005, the streaming of their videos became much more widespread. Samberg became a featured player on Saturday Night Live in part because of the work he had done on his sketch comedy website TheLonelyIsland.com, which helped them land an agent and eventually get hired at Saturday Night Live. Prior to joining its cast, Samberg was (and remains) a member of the comedy troupe The Lonely Island, along with Taccone and Schaffer. The trio began writing for Saturday Night Live in 2005 and released their debut album, Incredibad, in 2009. Samberg appeared in numerous theatrical films, commercials, music videos, and hosted special events, including the 2009 MTV Movie Awards.
In 2012, Samberg delivered the Class Day speech at Harvard University, and starred with Adam Sandler in That's My Boy and Hotel Transylvania as the main character, Jonathan, a role he reprised for its sequels Hotel Transylvania 2 and Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation. In September 2012, Samberg played Cuckoo in the BAFTA nominated BBC Three series Cuckoo, and in 2013 landed the role of Detective Jake Peralta in Fox's (now NBC's) police sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine which first aired on September 17 of the same year and led to Samberg winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy in 2014 for his role as Peralta. Samberg hosted the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards on September 20, 2015. Recently, he co-hosted the 76th Golden Globe Awards with Sandra Oh on January 6, 2019.
Samberg starred in Sleater-Kinney's "No Cities to Love" video along with other actors such as Fred Armisen, Elliot Page, and Norman Reedus. On May 16, 2016, Samberg and the Lonely Island performed their 2009 hit "I'm on a Boat" with classroom instruments on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Saturday Night Live
In September 2005, Samberg joined Saturday Night Live as a featured player along with Schaffer and Taccone as the show's writing staff. Though his live sketch roles were limited in his first year, he appeared in many prerecorded sketches including commercial parodies and various other filmed segments. On December 17, 2005, Chris Parnell and he starred in the Digital Short show "Lazy Sunday", a hip hop song about a quest to see the film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The short became an Internet phenomenon and garnered Samberg significant media and public attention, as did "Dick in a Box", a duet with Justin Timberlake that won a Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics. The video for his comedy troupe's collaboration with T-Pain, "I'm on a Boat", had over 56 million views on YouTube, after debuting on February 7, 2009. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award. Another digital short, "Motherlover", also featuring Timberlake, was released on May 10, 2009, to commemorate Mother's Day, and is a sequel of "Dick in a Box". Outside of his prerecorded segments, he also participated in recurring live segments, such as his Blizzard Man sketch. On June 1, 2012, Samberg's spokesperson announced that he had left the show. He returned to the show as the host of the Season 39 finale in 2014 and in the 40th anniversary special's Digital Short.
Samberg is married to musician Joanna Newsom. He once described himself as a "superfan". They met at one of her concerts. After five years of dating, Samberg proposed to her in February 2013, and they married on September 21, 2013 in Big Sur, California, with Saturday Night Live co-star Seth Meyers serving as the wedding's groomsman. In March 2014, Samberg and Newsom purchased the Moorcrest estate in the Beachwood Canyon area of Los Angeles, California. They also own a home in the West Village in New York City. The couple announced the birth of their daughter in August 2017.