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Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Andy Samberg (Detective Jake Peralta) joined co-creators and executive producers Dan Goor and Mike Schur to discuss the new FOX sitcom, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” 

I listened  in on a conference call last week with the three, and let me tell you, they are very funny and easy to talk to. Here are some tidbits and excerpts from the call:

On why they focused on the cop genre for a sitcom: “When Dan and I first started thinking about ideas for shows, we started talking about the idea of doing a cop comedy, and we pretty quickly realized that there hadn’t been a half-hour cop comedy in a while,” said Schur. “We just liked the idea more and more, and we kind of stuck with it.”

On what Samberg likes about the cop genre, and what appealed to him: “Well, definitely getting to wear a cool leather jacket was appealing, and honestly, I’ve always enjoyed cop comedies, as well as cop dramas, as well as cop films and TV. I like the procedural aspect of it, and I also really like the workplace aspect of it. When it comes to workplace comedies, there is really no one else I would want to work with than these dudes.”

[Note: Schur’s producing/writing/directing credits include “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation”; Goor filled the same roles on “Parks and Rec” and was also a writer on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien.”] Brooklyn Nine-Nine

On Andre Braugher’s character getting to ask Samberg’s character, “What’s wrong with you?” in nearly every episode:

Schur: “Yes, most of the episodes involve Andy’s character, Jake Peralta, doing something which requires Andre Braugher’s character (Captain Holt) to say some version of, “What the hell is wrong with you?” That’s a pretty constant theme.”

On how much Andy’s character can change without upsetting the balance of the two characters:

Schur: “Well, that’s a good question. It’s one we talk a lot about in the writing room, and I think that the central tension of the show comes from the fact that Jake doesn’t really want to be changed that much and Holt really wants to change him and they butt heads a lot. That will be the dynamic that’s set up in the pilot – that Holt is a guy who wants to make the best precinct in Brooklyn. Jake is his most talented detective, but he also doesn’t really do things the same way that Holt does. That’s a source of constant irritation and annoyance – the dynamic is the central dynamic intention in the show…”

On how working on “Nine-Nine” is different than working on “Saturday Night Live”:

Samberg: “I wasn’t expecting to be asked a question (Schur reveals that Samberg is eating beef jerky). It’s better in that, for me anyway, it’s much less stressful because the hardest part of ‘SNL’ was having to create something new every week. And with this I have, basically just scripts handed to me every week that are already great and a bunch of jokes that are already written, which is the hardest part of comedy, in my opinion. So in that regard, it’s been a lot less stressful for me – the hardest part has been waking up early versus staying up incredibly late with ‘SNL’ – you can’t see the other two’s eyes rolling as I say it…”

On how to maintain the momentum of having a good pilot:

Schur: “Cocaine. We do a lot of cocaine” (of course he is joking!).

Samberg: “You’ve given voice to my every anxiety.”

Schur: “Well, you trust in the cast and you trust in the directors and you trust in the writing staff. If you worry about things like ‘are we maintaining our momentum,’ then you are kind of dead because the only thing that you can control as you go along in a TV show that requires possibly 22 or more episodes in a year is, ‘Is this one good?’ And as long as you can say, alright, this one’s good, move onto the next one, that’s enough of your time to be taken up…”

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

What Samberg thinks of Andre as an actor, person and funny actor/person: “As an actor, I am completely in awe of him. This is like a Juilliard trained, Shakespeare in the Park heavy. He knows exactly how to play drama and has so much experience in that regard. So I’m learning from him every day, watching how he approaches things and etc. As a person, I think he’s fantastic. He couldn’t be warmer, and comedically, he gets better everyday, but he really started off great…”

Samberg on whether there’s any room for spontaneity or ad-libbing: “Absolutely, we try and do as many takes as it takes to get as-scripted exactly how we want it, and then we’ll do multiple takes where we just go for broke and try different stuff…”

On how often Holt being gay comes up and whether it’s touched on frequently:

Goor: “Yeah, it is. I mean, it’s a part of his character. We think of it as a character trait that’s like a guy who’s from Orlando or something. It’s a fact of his life and it has certainly influenced what kind of person he is and the shape his career has taken, but it doesn’t overwhelm him. It doesn’t define him. It’s not entirely who he is – the back story is that he is married.”

On whether Schur will ever get a small role on the show, a la his “Mose” character on “The Office”: “I think we would be fortunate enough for the show to last a long time. Let’s say it lasts nine years. I think what will happen is that at the very end, it will be revealed that this entire thing was a dream in the mind of Mose…”

There you have it. Some bits and pieces from an interview with Andy Samberg, Mike Schur, and Dan Goor from FOX’s new sitcom “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

Check out the show’s official site and catch the series premiere on Tues., Sept. 17, at 8:30 – 9 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.

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