First look at Andy Samberg, Chief Shark Officer -- EXCLUSIVE


Image Credit: Tim Calver/Discovery Channel

Did Andy Samberg have any reservations about being the host — or Chief Shark Officer — for Discovery’s 24th annual Shark Week, which kicks off July 31? “I had reservations at the restaurant of destiny,” he jokes to EW. “It has very little to do with me on the surface, which to me was a perfect sign that I should do it. Everyone loves Shark Week. I love Shark Week. I was just so flattered. The pitch was that I would get to fly to the Bahamas and literally swim with sharks, and I was thinking there’s no way I would ever have the balls to do that on my own, so I went for it.”

This week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly has the first look at Samberg swimming with Caribbean reef sharks for his own Aug. 4 special, Shark City. “My buddy John Solomon, who’s a director and a writer at SNL came with me. We were doing a bunch of wrap-arounds for the show, and I’d been floating there in the water, and I was like, ‘Okay, I think we got that. Should we chum the water and get some sharks over here?’ And everyone on the boat kinda looked down, kinda looked away, like, ‘Yeah, yeah, we should, um, get some sharks over here,'” Samberg recalls. “It turned out that there had been huge sharks all around me the entire time, and I just hadn’t realized it because they were under the water.” 


Image Credit: Tim Calver/Discovery Channel

Samberg also shot footage at his CSO desk in the water, which was quickly surrounded by sharks after some chumming. “They were definitely dumping tons of bloody meat into the water all around me. I knew that they needed to do it to get the sharks over there, but there’s also a part of me that was like, have you guys heard of Photoshop? Like, we live in an era where you don’t have to actually do this. But I guess they’re purists over at Discovery,” he says. He admits falling backwards blindly into sharks, even if they’re gentle Caribbean reefs, scared him. “But I had to just kind of ignore it. I went into Braveheart mode,” he says.

“If you want to know the coolest part,” Samberg says of filming the special, “it was getting to go in the little one-man submarine and, like, drive through a bunch of tropical fish while they tickle my feet. I just kept asking everyone if they’d seen my son Nemo.”

Watch a tease of that outing in the exclusive video below. (It is, perhaps, the closest we’ll get to a musical number from him: “I mean, I think LL Cool J already nailed the shark song,” he says.)

As part of Samberg’s duties, he’s also the face of Discovery’s Shark Week Challenge. At, fans can post their own 30-second Shark Week commercials. A select 16 will make it into a tournament bracket game, and the two spots receiving the most votes will actually air on Discovery. “That’s definitely a fun part, encouraging people out there to do their own Shark Week stuff,” Samberg says. “Like, I’d always enjoyed Shark Week, but I didn’t realize until I did this how much people love Shark Week. Every single person I’ve told that I’m doing this has to take a pause and be like, No [pause] Way. There’s a real passion and excitement for Shark Week, so I lucked out.”

Follow Mandi on Twitter @EWMandiBierly

Read more:
Andy Samberg talks a close Shark Week encounter

Comments (27 total) Add your comment
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  • KC

    I love Shark Week, but this unfunny garbage isn’t needed to air along with it.

    • Bob

      You’re correct, it’s not needed, but some people like adding humor to everything_most times because it relaxes them.

      • Dave

        Shark week has always been a somewhat dramatic / serious episodes… why they are throwing in comedy which will probably be cheesy is beyond me. I like Andy, but not happy about this…

  • jane

    Sharks need protection, not more lies told about them by idiots like him. More people get killed by lightning every year than they do by sharks.

    • Jabberjaw

      you’re right. we need to protect the sharks from the lightning. stop the lighting! stop the lightning!

      • Fin


    • Mo P

      Jane, you don’t sound like a true Shark Week fan. Craig Ferguson was excellent last year. The whole week’s program was not comedy. You should check it out this year.

  • Brianna

    You guys don’t know what you’re talking about. Shark Week needs a little humor, if you’re so mad about this, don’t watch it. Stop complaining, Shark Week is going to be amazing.

  • Suu

    Andy Samberg is a comedy genius.

  • Pawan Pathania

    stop shark killing shark is nature guys

  • Hernan Guillermo Rojas Calzada

    Andy Samberg seriously, do not screw up shark week….or you will to take the bait next season.

  • jen

    i think andy is going to be great! a little humor is a much better way to keep things interesting than the awful and terribly acted dramatic shark attack stories they’ve been airing the past few years. things like that promote the wrong message but it catches peoples interest. hopefully, they can manage to bring in some lighthearted humor while promoting sharks in a positive image.

  • Sara

    I hope he doesnt ruin this. Of all the people they could have asked.

    On top of it there is absolutely no conservation episodes this year.

  • Rachael

    He won’t mess this up. Andy is a comedy prince.

  • Donna

    I love Shark Week. I love Andy Samberg. Bringing Andy on board is a HUGE win! He’s a nice, respectful guy – don’t automatically line him up with SNL and LI. Shark Week is tired, anyway, and needs a shot in the arm – there are only so many ways to make sharks interesting. I applaud this new angle. Do a great job, Andy!

  • Awesome

    fish, fish, fish fish fish, fishy fishy fishy fish fish fish SHARK!

  • Liam

    I don’t see what the people who don’t like this are upset about. It’s not a new thing the hosts have a comedic flair about them… it’s actually been the norm during the host era. Mike Rowe (multiple years), The Mythbusters guys (multiple years) and Craig Ferguson.
    These guys sign up because they really care about shark preservation, and understand that bits of comedic relief is usually the best way to discuss serious issues.

    I’d much rather Andy Samberg than a serious Ben Stein type host (whose shtick is in itself a kind a comedy).


  • Gonnaneedabiggerboat

    How cool! Little Rascasls for the ocean. I’m now waiting for the first Wal Mart under the sea!

  • laura

    ANDY SAMBERG is the SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT and will make shark week amazing sooo stop yo hatin asses!

  • Sade

    Andy Samberg is Awesome!!!! Come on guys…give him a chance…Ive watched for a while…and Im excited that Andy Samberg is hosting..!!

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