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Andy Samberg On Staying Alive as Shark Week's Chief Shark Officer (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

by Chris Harnick, posted Jul 29th 2011 9:05AM
Andy Samberg, Shark WeekAndy Samberg has a lot of weight on his shoulders as Shark Week 2011's Chief Shark Officer. But, just how did the 'Saturday Night Live' funnyman get this "jawesome" gig?

"I think I'm Chief Shark Officer for obvious reasons," Samberg said. "I love sharks, I'm a really bad swimmer, Justin Timberlake passed. What else? Mainly the third one."

In the exclusive video interview below, Samberg, while soaking wet and standing in the ocean, details his experiences as Chief Shark Officer.

"The worst thing about being Chief Shark Officer is that I had to go to the Bahamas! It doesn't smell like whiz or homeless people anywhere here," he joked. "I'm just so homesick. It's going to be so sucky when I have to go back."

Shark Week, which begins Sunday at 9PM on Discovery, is cable's longest running event. It began in the late 1980s as a way to attract new viewers to the recently launched Discovery Channel and has turned into something of a cultural phenomenon.

According to Time, Shark Week has been watched by more than 20 million viewers each year since 1995. In 2010, 30.8 million viewers checked out Discovery's Shark Week programming.

The annual special has been no stranger to controversy throughout its twenty year run. In 2002, a shark bit Swiss-born biologist Erich Ritter while he was filming a Shark Week segment. Ritter survived the harrowing experience and the shark attack was featured in a 2003 special, 'Anatomy of a Shark Bite.'

While some have charged Discovery with sensationalizing sharks, the network maintains a partnership with Oceana, an international advocacy group out to protect the world's oceans. During Shark Week, Discovery will air a "Save the Sharks" public service announcement on a nightly basis.

Andy Samberg, Shark Week"Shark Week, now in its 24th year, has become a perennial favorite among viewers who are fascinated by this powerful and often misunderstood creature," Clark Bunting, president and general manager of Discovery Channel, said in a statement. "With shark populations in serious decline, Discovery Channel is proud to once again partner this year with Oceana on a PSA campaign as well as joining them in encouraging people to take action and help protect the most vulnerable shark species on the brink of extinction."

Samberg becomes one of a select few who have had the honor of serving as Shark Week host throughout its rich 24-year history.

From 1987-2003 the programming block was host-less. The 'American Chopper' guys hosted in 2004, 'MythBusters' stars Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman hosted in 2005, Mike Rowe in 2006, Les Stroud in 2007 and 2009 and Savage, Hyneman and Rowe hosted together in 2008. Craig Ferguson became the first non-Discovery channel star to host the weeklong event in 2010.

Aside from his hosting duties, Samberg will appear in 'Shark City,' a one-hour special in which the comedian will exploring the habitats of sharks that live off the shores of Nassau. Other new programs include 'Great White Invasion' and 'Jaws Comes Home'

In 'Great White Invasion,' viewers will get a look at great white sharks that are coming closer and closer to shores around the globe. If they're swimming under surfers on the West Coast, why are there so few attacks? 'Jaws Comes Home,' narrated by Mike Rowe, follows five great white sharks as they make a 1,200-mile journey up the East Coast.

Rounding out Discovery's Shark Week celebration is a new mobile application, Shark Week Live. The app for iPhone and iPad features content -- behind-the-scenes stories, shark facts, photos, etc. -- paired with what is currently on air.

In the video below, Samberg talks about being Chief Shark Officer, outlines his dreams of being an officer of other animals and reveals a somewhat morbid wish for next year's CSO.

Tell us: Why do you love Shark Week?

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I like the sharks I have met better than most people I have met.

August 01 2011 at 6:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Last nights two new Shark Week shows were good; the first show covered the West coast Pacific sharks, and the second show covered the East coast mostly the Cape Cod, Chatham, Atlantic sharks! :^) B

August 01 2011 at 6:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I just LOOOOVE "Shark Week" !!!!......

I live on the Outer Banks of NC and only go on the "beach" every few years or so......and
that's JUST to take the dogs for a walk on the beach......but thanks to Shark Week.....
I would now... NEVER....EVER...... go into the ocean at DUSK....or even DAWN......
their prime feeding times....

We RARELY have "shark attacks" here........tho last week a little girl DID get bitten
in Ocracoke (I think it was).....and a few years back a couple of tourists down
in Hatteras got attacked.....One made it and one didn't...... Up on my end....
Kitty Hawk, KDH and Nags Head...... things are relatively "quiet"......

I also like watching the "technical stuff" that they devise.......to use filming or
for safety......like the new camera equipment for slo-mo filming and the
submersible and "shark tube" ...etcetcetc........ That "slo-mo" camera is
freaking awesome.......

The "slo-mo" film of those GIGANTIC sharks "breaching" the surface.....
is absolutely "jaw-dropping" !!!!.......

Yep........I just LOVE "Shark Week" !!!!!!!!!!........

August 01 2011 at 5:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
A Abass Abiodun

All these are signs and wonders of god Almighty our creator, so every time you wake up to see a brand new day, you must Glorify Him.

August 01 2011 at 5:06 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Sharks are cool?

August 01 2011 at 4:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Robert C Cox

What ??

August 01 2011 at 4:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dean Murray

Hello Everyone!!! Great White Sharks and other species of Sharks are coming closer and closer to shores around the globe becuse we as humans are over fishing the Ocean's "Drag net" fishing and Over fishing Blue Fin Tuna giving this highly endangered species a break because each fish is worth more than a luxury automobile and due to pressure from Japan, China, and Libya. When a fish reaches the average price of $75,000 USD, banning its trade can upset many people,If we as humans could work together and generate media attention and bad publicity focused on their companies’ involvement in illegal operations we could slow Over fishing down........ Then in a nut shell that means Sharks "Eat fish not people"!! they find near the beachs..... If there was a Police like Sea Shepherd with more Ships and Laws in are Ocean's around the world to help Sea life for generations to come.I don't want to take my kids to a Museum and show them how humankind sat back and killed the Ocean's off what fish looked like, Why we dont eat fish anymore......Why did we eat Shark fin's?.

August 01 2011 at 4:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oprah WATS up""

August 01 2011 at 4:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What is the facination with sharks? That show is lame entertainment. OOh OOh looka them big shark teeth.

August 01 2011 at 3:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Gee, I didnt knowthat sharks are that playful!!

August 01 2011 at 3:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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