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Comedy’s New King

From viral hitmaker to award-winning leading man, Berkeley’s Andy Samberg continues to cement his place as a Hollywood heavyweight.


Tibrina Hobson/FilmMagic/Getty Images

The first time Andy Samberg hosted a major awards show, the 2009 MTV Movie Awards, he was beamed from the USS Enterprise into Justin Timberlake’s limo—naked. Four years later, in his opening monologue at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, he unleashed a giddy, expletive-laden tirade against Hollywood.

It’s really anyone’s guess what kind of envelope-pushing antics the Berkeley native will employ when he hosts the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards this month—but it’s bound to be memorable. And the gig is a nice feather in the cap for a comedian whose star has been steadily on the rise.

Samberg got his big break in 2005, when Saturday Night Live scooped up The Lonely Island, the comedy troupe he formed with fellow Berkeley High classmates Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. As a writer and performer with SNL for seven seasons, most memorably with pop culture–skewering music videos, Samberg earned six Emmy nominations and one win (for the song “Dick in a Box” with Timberlake).

In a 2007 Diablo profile, Samberg said, “The movies that Adam Sandler did that came out during my junior high and high school years were pivotal for me in letting me know I can do comedy.” Fittingly, since 2012, Samberg has been on a post–SNL trajectory similar to that of his comedy hero: big-budget comedies (That’s My Boy), indie charmers (Celeste and Jesse Forever), animation voiceovers (Hotel Transylvania), and a handful of cameos. Soon though, we predict he’ll manage to eclipse Sandler.

In 2013, Samberg returned to television as lovably goofy detective Jake Peralta on the cop comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine—and he even brought in Sandler for a guest role. The show earned a Golden Globe Award, as did Samberg for best comedic actor in a TV series. Also scoring major awards attention last year was the song “Everything Is Awesome,” from The LEGO® Movie, which received Grammy and Oscar nominations. (The Lonely Island rapped on the song.) This past summer, Samberg had another critical hit, starring in HBO’s over-the-top tennis mockumentary, 7 Days in Hell, which was written and produced by Samberg’s longtime friend (and Alamo native) Murray Miller.

The year ahead looks to be even bigger. In addition to the release of Hotel Transylvania 2 on September 25 and the return of Brooklyn Nine-Nine on September 27, Samberg will appear with The Lonely Island in the summer movie Connor4real, a riff on pop-concert films about boy bands, coproduced by Judd Apatow. And of course, there’s the Emmys.

Will he sing? Will he bring friends? Will he wear a colorful tuxedo? Will he be censored? Tune in on September 20 to find out.

To celebrate the fall TV season, we connect all of the East Bay’s small-screen stars to Samberg. Scroll down.


Samberg’s Key Dates

June 1996:
Graduates from Berkeley High, having been voted class clown.

December 17, 2005:
Creates viral sensation with “Lazy Sunday” video on Saturday Night Live.

September 16, 2007:
Wins Emmy Award for outstanding original music and lyrics for song “Dick in a Box.”

September 21, 2013:
Childhood icon Adam Sandler attends Samberg’s wedding to musician Joanna Newsom.

January 12, 2014:
Wins Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series—Comedy or Musical at the 71st Golden Globe Awards.

September 20, 2015:
Will host the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards.

June 3, 2016:
Will star in Conner4real, a movie with Berkeley pals Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone.


1 Degree

Samberg appeared on Saturday Night Live with Will Forte from 2005 to 2012.

Will Forte

Acalanes High grad Forte is the Emmy-nominated writer and star of post-apocalyptic comedy The Last Man on Earth. Its second season begins September 27 on Fox.

Mary Ellen Matthews/©2013 Fox Broadcasting Co.

Samberg costars with Chelsea Peretti on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which returns September 27 on Fox.

Chelsea Peretti

Peretti plays admin assistant Gina Linetti on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but she met Samberg at Oakland’s Chabot Elementary and graduated from College Preparatory School.





by Matt Hoyle

Samberg and Blake Anderson both made cameos in Neighbors.

Blake Anderson

Anderson is the co-creator and eccentric star of Workaholics—and a Clayton Valley High alum. The sixth season of the Comedy Central show is set to air in 2016.






Jeff Daly/courtesy of HBO

2 Degrees

Samberg costars on Brooklyn Nine-Nine with Terry Crews, who was in Get Smart with Dwayne Johnson.

Dwayne Johnson

The Hayward native plays retired athlete Spencer Strasmore on HBO’s Ballers, which wrapped up its first season at the end of August. Catch up on HBO Now.

Samberg appeared in Friends with Benefits with Woody Harrelson, who was in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me with Rebecca Romijn.

Rebecca Romijn

The Berkeley High grad stars as Eve Baird in The Librarians, about an ancient organization that protects treasured artifacts. It returns to TNT for a second season this fall.

Samberg was in Grown Ups 2 with Salma Hayek, who was in Mi Vida Loca with Maurice Benard.

Maurice Bernard

A Martinez native, Benard has portrayed mobster Michael “Sonny” Corinthos, Jr., on soap opera General Hospital since 1993, scoring seven Emmy nominations and one win. The soap airs every weekday on ABC.

Chris Haston/NBC

Samberg was in Celeste and Jesse Forever with Chris Pine, who was in Just My Luck with Bree Turner.

Bree Turner

Turner, a Monte Vista alum, plays spice shop–owner (and foxlike creature) Rosalee Calvert on Grimm, a cop drama with a fantasy twist. Its fifth season debuts October 30 on NBC.





by Daniel McFadden

Samberg starred in Grown Ups 2 with Chris Rock, who was in Top Five with Gabrielle Union.

Gabrielle Union

Union, a graduate of Pleasanton’s Foothill High, stars as a broadcast journalist looking for love on Being Mary Jane. Season three returns to BET in early 2016.

Samberg was in I Love You, Man with Jason Segel, who was in How I Met Your Mother with Lyndsy Fonseca.

Lyndsy Fonseca

Moraga-raised Fonseca plays waitress and aspiring actress Angie Martinelli on Captain America spin-off Agent Carter. Season two returns to ABC in early 2016.

Courtesy of Netflix

Samberg voiced a character in Space Chimps, as did Stanley Tucci, who was in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay with Mahershala Ali.

Mahershala Ali

This Hayward-raised Saint Mary’s College grad plays White House Chief of Staff Remy Danton on House of Cards. It returns for a fourth season on Netflix in early 2016.




Randee St. Nicholas/CBS © 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc.

3 Degrees

Samberg voiced a character for SpongeBob SquarePants, as did John Goodman, who was in Bringing Out the Dead with Patricia Arquette, who is in CSI: Cyber with Charley Koontz.

Charley Koontz

De La Salle grad Koontz stars on CSI spin-off CSI: Cyber, as introverted FBI Special Agent Daniel “Krummy” Krumitz. Season two premieres October 4 on CBS.

Samberg starred in Celeste and Jesse Forever with Rashida Jones, who was in Parks and Recreation with guest star J.K. Simmons, who was in Oz with Rita Moreno.

Rita Moreno

The East Bay’s EGOT winner (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) guest starred as Jane’s “glam-ma” on Jane the Virgin. She hopes to make another appearance in season two, which begins October 12 on The CW.


Courtesy of TBS

4 Degrees

Samberg was in an SNL short with Natalie Portman, who was in Garden State with Jim Parsons, who is in The Big Bang Theory with Sara Gilbert, who was in Bad Teacher with Kat Foster.

Kat Foster

Foster, a College Preparatory School grad, stars as Kelli, one half of the young married couple in Your Family or Mine. As of press time, renewal for a second season on TBS was uncertain.




Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com

Samberg starred in I Love You, Man with Paul Rudd, who was in How Do You Know with Owen Wilson, who was in Zoolander with Andy Dick, who competed on Dancing with the Stars with Zendaya.


Oakland-raised Zendaya stars as a high school student training to be a spy in the sitcom K.C. Undercover. Look for season two in early 2016 on the Disney Channel.




Matt Dinerstein/NBC

5 Degrees

Samberg was in I Love You, Man with Jason Segel, who was in How I Met Your Mother with Lyndsy Fonseca, who was in Agent Carter with Chad Michael Murray, who was in One Tree Hill with Sophia Bush, who is in Chicago P.D. with Markie Post.

Markie Post

A longtime small-screen star (Night Court, The Fall Guy) and Las Lomas High grad, Post has a recurring role as Bunny on Chicago Fire spin-off Chicago P.D. The third season premieres September 30 on NBC.

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