Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher were scheduled to come to the TV Critics Press Tour on Monday, stand around for 30 minutes and talk up the Fox comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Not for a full press conference or glitzy presentation. The show’s not that hot, must have been the Fox thinking. The idea was to have the two actors hang out in the lobby during a break in Fox’s full day exposition.
Then the Golden Globes happened on Sunday. To the total surprise of many, Samberg won Best Actor in a Comedy Series and the show won Best TV Comedy.
So when Samberg and Braugher arrived, and strolled into the lobby they became the most-scrummed TV types of the day.
Braugher, who plays captain Ray Holt, boss of a chaotic precinct HQ and in command of a motley crew of cops and is gay, said the Globe was awarded for the comedy and emphasized that he plays the poker-faced guy. “They’re a funny group, all of them. There’s a different spirit with comedy. There was a bit of a learning curve for me, personally, and I feel like I’m still exploring a new way of working. It’s the chemistry that works, obviously. It’s always good to have a new show recognized and winning anything is uplifting. But you know, I’m probably not best guy to talk to about how the show works and the comedy.”
Samberg was not “the best guy to talk to” either, it tuned out. He seemed startled by his individual Golden Globe and amused by the swarm of reporters gathered around him firing questions about it. Asked if he was as genuinely surprised as he seemed to be on Sunday night he said, “I seriously didn’t prepare anything because I thought there was a 100 per cent chance I would not win.”
A slight figure in person and dressed in jeans, sneakers and a plaid shirt (which he also wore to the glamorous Fox party that evening), Samberg said there was nothing phoney about his stunned reactions. “There was the initial moment of hearing my name and thinking, ‘Wow, that’s great,’ and immediately my next thought was, ‘Oh no, I have to go up there and say something and I have nothing.’” I’m a comedian and going on stage without jokes is not a situation I usually go into. I feel like I did decent, considering.”
Mind you, he did admit he had seen his acceptance but hadn’t actually listened to it. “Immediately after, we were at a Fox thing, partying. I could see the thing playing on video monitors, but there was no sound. I’ve only heard about it. I forgot to thank my parents and I forgot to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press,” he said. “In retrospect I would’ve loved to thank Lorne (Michaels), but other than that, I did good. I thanked my wife and the network. Remember, I got up there and thought, ‘I don’t have any jokes. I don’t have any jokes.’”
He did have a joke on hand for the critics, though. In a brief pause between questions he said, “Can somebody tell me, is Jacqueline Bissett still making her way up to the stage? That’s what I keep picturing. She’s still on that slow walk.”
The former Saturday Night Live star could only say about the Golden Globes acclaim, “It’s a new show but it’s got a rhythm that’s unusually strong for a new show. I guess that’s something people noticed. There were a lot of people there that had not even heard of our show. That’s what’s so awesome about it. Now they have.”
Samberg does inhabit his character, detective Jake Peralta, a cop who places his shrewdness behind a bewildering wall of goofiness and ludicrous physical jokes, with aplomb. He did similar work on SNL but inhabited multiple characters every week. Now he does just one. Asked why SNL stars now gravitate to TV work rather than movies, as was once the pattern, he shrugged, “For a start the movie business is in terrible shape right now. TV is where the good writing, the opportunities are. That’s no secret to you guys or anyone else.”
Nope, not a secret, but it remains a mystery why Brooklyn Nine-Nine, a good, clever show, far from a comic masterpiece yet, nabbed two Golden Globes. Even the two stars seem baffled, while pleased. The show airs tonight (Fox, CTV, 8:30 p.m.), and everyone can have a go at solving the mystery.