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INSIDE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY

‘SNL’ comedian provides Q&A for campus fans

By : Greg Norman

Students and community members filled Binghamton University’s West Gym on April 30 to hear popular Saturday Night Live cast member Andy Samberg give an honest and sometimes comedic retelling of his career story.

The 31-year-old comedian, best known for his SNL digital shorts and comedy music group The Lonely Island, participated in a 90-minute question-and-answer session with Binghamton University English adjunct professor Ryan Vaughan.

Samberg answered questions about his comedic influences, how he started his career as a stand-up comedian at the University of California at Santa Cruz and what his daily schedule is like as a SNL performer.

After watching SNL as a child, Samberg said he had been waiting for a call to be on the show since he was 8 years old.

“If you get hired there, it’s both the most thrilling and potentially amazing thing for your career if you want to get into comedy, but it comes with a lot of baggage,” he said. “It’s an institution: It’s like being a writer on The Simpsons or for David Letterman — you’re always looking back on the legacy of the people who have come before you.”

While some of the inquiries were serious, others focused on a lighter side.

Before Samberg appeared onstage, Vaughan told the audience that a running joke throughout the show would be questions asking Samberg why he was a Bigfoot.
At first, Samberg was confused at Vaughan’s act, often checking the script with quizzical looks to see if the material was a part of the show. But he eventually caught on.

“Why are you so difficult to photograph in the woods?” Vaughan asked, to the applause and laughter of the crowd.

“I think I know what’s happening,” Samberg replied. “Do you think I look like the dude from the Geico commercials?”

When asked about how people have often looked down upon the quality of SNL in recent years, Samberg shrugged.

“Since the second season of the show, people have been saying that it’s not as good as it used to be,” he joked.

The event also featured videos of Samberg’s SNL and Lonely Island work, including a previously unaired short.

However, during some parts of the night, the laughs were few and far between.

“The show got a little boring in the middle but I think that was mostly because of the format,” said Donald Applegate, a sophomore double-majoring in English and math. “But the videos were the best part for me because it was cool getting to see a few things that never aired.”

In an interview after the show, Vaughan said the experience performing with Samberg was surreal, and it was the largest audience he has ever had for a routine.

“The English language doesn’t have the words to describe how amazing (it was),” he said.

Vaughan added that he spent a month before the show fine-tuning the questions he asked Samberg, who normally performs in the question-and-answer format.

“It was a nice turnout, and something a little different,” said Aaron Cohn, president of the Student Association’s programming board, who organized the event. “Professor Ryan Vaughan did a great job up there.”
 

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Last Updated: 10/14/08