Today, Discovery announced that Saturday Night Live’s Andy Samberg will host the cable channel’s 24th annual Shark Week this July. Samberg’s official title is Chief Shark Officer and comes with obligations to film on-air wraps for the week-long event and host a Shark Week special during which he may dive with the apex predators. He has to swim with sharks, right? I mean, we want to see the music video we assume he’ll shoot, too, but the host of Shark Week must get wet.
Samberg has big flippers to fill: Last year’s Shark Week, hosted by known enthusiast Craig Ferguson, was watched by almost 31 million people, making it Discovery’s highest rated to date. Ferguson swam with Caribbean reef sharks in the Bahamas during his special and his fear produced some great moments.
(“I have to ask you a question: What happens if the shark smells pee pee? Just hypothetically.”) Samberg seems psyched: “I’m overjoyed about being appointed CSO. Everyone loves Shark Week. It’s the Bill Cosby of week-long television blocks dedicated to sea animals,” he said in the announcement.
What would you like to see Samberg do? After nearly a quarter century, it’s tough to come up with something original, but that’s why going with another funny guy as host is great – they each have their own delivery. Plus, I’m actually looking forward to seeing Samberg be himself.
This year’s Shark Week will feature seven all-new specials, including one with the working title Shark Invasion, Discovery tells EW. (We suspect that title will stick.) The network’s description: “[V]iewers will see that, around the globe, great white sharks are coming closer to shore and swimming among unsuspecting humans. In Australia, South Africa, and on our own West Coast, the great whites swim under surfers as they catch waves and in the shallow waters of popular beaches. If this is happening, why are there so few attacks? This is a question everyone wants answered because, no matter where you swim, you’re apt to have a close encounter of the great white kind!”