Andy Samberg is having an emotional month as he announced he is leaving his home for seven seasons, Saturday Night Live, and his work alongside his idol -- Adam Sandler -- in That’s My Boy is premiering. Movie Fanatic caught up with the soon-to-be comic superstar to discuss his thoughts on his new beginning, the brilliance of Sandler and even hear if there will be more coming from his hilarious band Lonely Island!
When the script arrived for That’s My Boy, it struck Samberg on two levels. He would get to work with Sandler, the man he saw as a child on TV that made him realize there were others like him who could make a career out of being funny. But also, he had an affinity for the story. “The script came to me and I heard Adam was doing it. I thought, ‘Holy crap, if there’s ever a chance for me to play a part where I’m related to Sandler, this is it. It’s perfect.’ I’m the right age if he had had a son with his teacher at the age of 15,” Samberg said and laughed. “It’s a classic tale.”
When it comes to learning from his idol, now mentor, Samberg could keep us at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills for quite a while. “I can talk about being a fan of Adam’s for the next seven hours,” he said.
“I watched SNL since I was eight and wanted to be on it since I was eight. I remember when he came on the show. There was a lot of stuff he did that was incredible, but the moment I remember he was my guy was the easy-to-do Halloween costumes. I remember thinking, ‘You’re allowed to do this?' Comedians talk about the movie or sketch that they saw that they felt it was made just for you. His entire time on the show was that for me. Then with Happy Gilmore and all the movies after that, I was at that impressionable age. I memorized those movies. I had Billy Madison on audio cassette. I walked around town listening to it on my Walkman. If I couldn’t be in front of a TV, I wanted to be hearing Adam Sandler. I think it’s safe to say that getting to work with him is a dream come true.”
When it comes to the months-long shoot, from the sound of it, Samberg learned more than comedy lessons from Sandler, but life lessons too. “He taught me how to put rubbers on the right way. I had been doing it wrong for years and I never knew why I had so many kids,” Samberg said, laughing.
Then he gets serious and extols the many virtues of the artist formerly known as Cajun Man. “He’s not just an actor, he’s a writer and producer. To watch him have this whole team assembled, he’s so loyal to the same crew with each movie. I got to witness that and how good that is. The same way he was saying how working on SNL is like a family, his Happy Madison production team is the same way. There’s a shorthand that everyone has.”
There were rumors that Samberg was leaving SNL. Most thought it was a done deal. Many wondered why only Kristin Wiig got the big send-off. It was because Samberg hadn’t officially talked to show creator Lorne Michaels.
In the last weeks, the comic had that chat. “It’s emotional and extremely sad for me, but also felt it was the right time. It has nothing to do with anything outside of the show or a project I was moving on to. It was more that I’ve been there seven seasons,” he admitted. For one, his Emmy-winning shorts were draining. “The digital shorts were incredibly demanding to get done so often.”
Samberg will be seen twice on film in a matter of months with That's My Boy and the Sundance darling, Celeste and Jesse Forever, written by and also starring Rashida Jones. Beyond that, the actor is letting all the changes in his life sink in. "I hope I get to keep doing movies. I'd like to make another Honey Island CD. I'm just trying to be happy," he said. "I'm still processing that I said I was leaving the show!"