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

Date July 29, 2011
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 many reasons," Samberg said. "I love sharks, I'm a really bad swimmer, Justin Timberlake passed. What else? Mainly the third one."

In the...

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 many 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 1987 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?

Read more http://www.aoltv.com/2011/07/29/andy-samberg-shark-week-video-interview/

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