'Everybody kills it on 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine': Andy Samberg

Andy Samberg. (SÉBASTIEN ST-JEAN/QMI Agency)

Andy Samberg. (SÉBASTIEN ST-JEAN/QMI Agency)

Dave Kaufman, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:01 PM ET

Looking like a young CEO, Andy Samberg is sitting at the head of a boardroom table in a Montreal hotel, waxing philosophical about cop show comedies.

“Barney Miller is the end all, be all for that, and then it swings much more whacky,” said Samberg. “Also, Police Squad which I absolutely loved. (Frank) Drebin (played by the late Leslie Nielsen) was the best. After The Naked Gun came out I went back and watched all the Police Squad shows on VHS.”

The 35-year-old was in Montreal to accept an award from the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival this past weekend and to promote his award winning addition to the police comedy sitcom genre, FOX’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Last year, in the show’s first season, it won the Golden Globe for best musical or comedy television series, and Samberg won best actor for his portrayal of detective Jake Peralta, a cop with a knack for cracking jokes and solving crimes.

“(Taking the part) was an easy decision for me,” Samberg says. “The way they described the way they wanted me to do the show I was like, ‘So this is what I would be doing in real life? I’ll just pretend to be a cop while I’m doing it.’”

Peralta has the ability to figure out a crime scene with ease. He also talks very quickly, although not as fast as another famous TV detective.

“I hadn’t seen Sherlock (the BBC series) until we started shooting Brooklyn, and when I watched it I was like this guy (Benedict Cumberbatch) is really good at talking fast,” laughed Samberg. “I have to talk pretty fast sometimes, and I’ll do a take and be like, ‘Man I talked pretty fast on that take.’ I’m not even talking medium speed compared to this dude. He’s the fastest figurer-outer in the history of television. My wife describes it (Sherlock) as decadent fun.

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine is less decadent, and more fun.”

Unlike co-creator Mike Schur’s other two hit shows (Parks and Recreation and the American version of The Office), Brooklyn Nine-Nine was a hit from the start.

“Every show kind of has its own tone, eventually,” says Schur. “It comes out of the writing to some extent, and it also comes out of the cast and how the cast gels. Early on when we started ‘Parks and Rec’ every comparison was to The Office and eventually people stopped comparing it. At the beginning of ‘Brooklyn’ people were like, ‘Oh it’s sort of like Parks and Rec’ and then people stopped comparing it.

Andy Samberg is a very different performer than Amy Poehler or Steve Carell. There are probably two things going on. The first thing is that the people writing it are similar to people writing the other shows, and also people are expecting the tone to be similar to some other show. Eventually all that stuff just burns off and it kind of becomes its own thing. I think that happened with this show pretty early on.”

Perhaps the greatest revelation in the show is former Homicide: Life on the Street star Andre Braugher, who plays Capt. Ray Holt.

“I always like when people get cast against type,” says Samberg. “Somebody like Andre who’s had a career already; this is almost a left turn for him. The fact he has that reputation of who he is and what he does makes it that much funnier for someone watching.”

“Every week in the read through,” says Schur, “there’s rollicking laughter from him and Andy. That’s got to be a lot of fun for a guy who has spent his career playing some pretty serious people.”

Sitting at the head of the boardroom table may give the impression that Samberg is the boss, but he knows that Brooklyn Nine-Nine is about as far from a one-man team as you can get.

“I think the strength of the show lies in its ensemble. That’s what the show really is about. It’s about a group of people. It’s about this crew, this precinct, and their many relationships and camaraderie and the way they grow and look out for each other. And it works to our advantage that we have a great cast and a cast that all have the kind of personas that make you root for them and hope for good things. It’s an insane scenario. We have a big cast, and everybody kills it.”

Season two of Brooklyn Nine-Nine premieres on City-TV in September.


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