Andy Samberg Revisits His Channel 101 Days

For the latest Playboy Interview.

Andy Samberg was born Aug. 18, the same day as Martin Mull, Elayne Boosler and Denis Leary. In other words, a pretty good day for comedy.

Just ahead of Samberg’s 38th birthday last week, Playboy posted an interview conducted with the multi-talented writer and actor for the September issue by contributing editor Stephen Rebello. The Centerfold may be gone, but The Playboy Interview lives on to ask questions like, ‘Growing up, did you have sexual fantasies about any celebrities?’

There’s a lot of fun reminiscing by Samberg about everything from his first apartment in Los Angeles, a three-bedroom on Olympic Blvd. he dubbed “Lonely Island,” to one of his earliest comedy video efforts:

“There is a monthly event-network-website thing called Channel 101, started by Dan Harmon, who went on to create Community, and Rob Schrab, who later co-created The Sarah Silverman Program. They screen a bunch of fake TV shows of five minutes or less.”

“A live audience votes and the top “shows” get “renewed,” meaning you make another episode and just keep going until you’re eliminated. It started as an exercise for them and their friends, then it got more traction and they started to get submissions from all over. We created a few shows for it, the most successful of which was The ’Bu, a deadpan spoof of The O.C. I love that Zucker brothers style of dry comedy. That’s where we met Jack Black and Steve Agee and lots of really cool people in comedy.

Samberg also recalls the details of his Saturday Night Live callback audition, and the moment that Lorne Michaels decided to hire him.

By the way, for those in the L.A. area who might be interested, the next screening of Channel 101 is Aug. 27 at the Downtown Independent movie house. They’ve been happening at that location since 2010, following previous stints at Cinespace, Toi on Vine and, very briefly, Schrab’s living room in 2003.

And really, we can’t stop there; we must also point to the moment a couple of years earlier when it truly began:

An innocent lunchtime decision to rent a bad film leads to a creative challenge: Attendees of that night’s screening of Jaws 4 in Rob Schrab’s living room must bring their own “prediction” of Jaws 4’s storyline, in the medium of their choice. To complement the puppet shows, poems and mix tapes, Schrab offers up a video featuring his own penis in the lead role and a DV revolution begins.

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