Saturday Night Live veteran Andy Samberg has been doing a lot of press lately for Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, his new film with the comedy-music team The Lonely Island. So when Outside contacted him with an offer to do some bird-watching at California’s Franklin Canyon Park, he had only two words: “Fuck yeah.” Writer Michael Roberts has a report on how the day went. As it turns out, birds and birding have played a not insignificant role in Samberg’s life. As Roberts reports, the comedian’s mother ran a preschool out of the Samberg home called the Hummingbird School, named for all the hummingbirds that congregated in the backyard. Samberg’s wife, singer-songwriter and harpist Joanna Newsom, grew up birding in the Sierra Nevadas with her folks. As described in the article, however, the bird-watching expedition turns out to be sort of a bust. The cast and crew of Bones had taken over a large part of the park that day to film some scenes for an upcoming episode. Making lemonade out of the lemons that life gives them, Samberg and Roberts start watching the Bones people instead and speculate about the episode.
One of the most amusing passages in the article deals not with birds but with sharks. In 2011, Samberg agreed to host the Discovery Channel’s highly rated annual event, Shark Week. It was a plum gig, to be sure, but it carried with it certain risks. The network flew Samberg down to the Bahamas and goaded him into jumping in the chummed-up water to get up close and personal with some actual sharks. He wore a helmet, a wet suit, and even chain mail for such occasions, but there were times when even he had to draw the line. “At a certain point, this one shark came straight into my chest and hit me hard, then swam over my shoulder,” Samberg said. “And I went, ‘I’m getting out! That’s it, I’m done!’” No business like show business, eh?