Andy Samberg hosts Discovery Channel's Shark Week

What does Saturday Night Live star Andy Samberg have in common with a gigantic, man-eating great white shark?

Stumped? Well, that's kind of the point. Samberg really has nothing do with sharks, yet he was chosen to host Discovery Channel's Shark Week this year. "[Shark Week] has very little to do with me on the surface, which to me was a perfect sign that I should do it," Samberg said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "Everyone loves Shark Week. I love Shark Week. I was just so flattered. The pitch was that I would get to fly to the Bahamas and literally swim with sharks, and I was thinking there’s no way I would ever have the balls to do that on my own, so I went for it.”

Samberg will serve as Shark Week's "Chief Shark Officer" and host the programs from a desk partially submerged in shark-infested water. Shark Week 2011 will feature shows such as Great White Invasion, which follows an international team of shark scientists as they attempt to determine why great whites are suddenly migrating to coastal waters in South Africa and California, Jaws Comes Home, a documentary about U.S. Fisheries scientist Greg Skomal who spent six months tracking great whites, and Top Five Eaten Alive, a break-down of the five most incredible shark attack survival stories.

Shark Week was seen by nearly 31 million people last year, the most in Discovery Channel history. Yet, despite its popularity (or possibly because of it), Shark Week has drawn its fair share of detractors. Certain animal rights groups have accused Discovery Channel of sensationalizing shark attacks and painting sharks as dangerous man-eaters in an attempt to boost ratings. I mean, they're right. But come on, people! It's Shark Week, the one time of year when we can set aside our petty differences and focus on the stuff that really matters, like watching bad-ass sharks tear the limbs off of unsuspecting scuba divers.

The group Sea Stewards: Sea is Our Sanctuary posted the following accusation on its blog, "Despite promises in a meeting with shark advocates and filmmakers in New York two years ago to promote shark awareness Discovery Channel is still promoting the hype and fear of sharks in their sensationalistic Shark Week programming. We have a responsibility to raise awareness that promote sane and sustainable ocean practices." I'm pretty sure I know how Andy Samberg would respond to these haters: "Chief Shark Officer! In your face, other dudes!"

Despite the criticism from activists, the Shark Week formula has proven to be extremely successful for Discovery Channel over its 24-year run. The additional of Andy Samberg to the equation got me thinking there's no reason why the formula can't be replicated. Discovery should devote one week out of every month to a different deadly animal and have a new random celebrity host each time. March could feature a Grizzly Bear Week with Joey Fatone serving as Chief Bear Officer. For October it could be Tarantula Week with Abe Vigoda as Chief Spider Officer. In February, Chief Snake Officer William "Refrigerator" Perry hosts Rattlesnake Week. It's brilliant! You're welcome, Discovery. Remember when you're writing my royalty checks, it's Lucas with a C, not a K.

By Lucas High

About the author

Lucas High is a man on a mission. That mission: to watch television for a living. Drop him a line at lhigh2@gmail.com, on Facebook and on Twitter at twitter.com/LucasHigh.

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1 Comment
On: Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

It's a pretty good move -- I'd be willing to check in on Shark Week if only to see what Sanberg sitting in a shark-ingested waters is up to. 

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