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How did he finagle that?

Sun., July 31, 2011, midnight

It’s been a busy year for funny guy Andy Samberg.

In May, the viral video sensation completed his sixth season on “Saturday Night Live.” Then he and his fellow Lonely Island jokers, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, released their second comedy rap album, “Turtleneck and Chain.”

He’s been seen on the big screen in “Friends With Benefits,” opposite Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, and appears in the upcoming “What’s Your Number?” with Anna Faris.

And beginning today, Samberg will host Discovery Channel’s popular Shark Week celebration. More specifically, he’ll serve as what the network calls its Chief Shark Officer (CSO).

“Everyone loves Shark Week,” Samberg says. “It’s the Bill Cosby of weeklong television blocks dedicated to sea animals.”

As CSO, Samberg will have his own special (“Shark City,” 9 p.m. Thursday) and appear in a series of promo spots shot in the Bahamas, where he actually swam among the toothy creatures.

Q. So, do any special perks come with the role of CSO?

A. I did get to fly for free to the Bahamas, but once I got there, I swam with some sharks, which kind of cancels the other out. Really, though, it’s just a thrilling adventure being the face of Shark Week, aka the American dream.

Q. Were you worried about becoming human chum?

A. They were reef sharks, which tend to be relatively mellow. Still, there was part of me that wondered if our (film) crew had ever heard of Photoshop. Like, aren’t we living in an era where we don’t really have to do this? Can’t we just fake it?

Q. Do you think your role as Shark Week CSO will lead to future career opportunities?

A. I don’t know about that, but I expect to get free tickets and food for life at every San Jose Sharks game.

The birthday bunch

Singer Gary Lewis (Gary Lewis and the Playboys) is 66. Singer Bob Welch is 65. Actor Michael Biehn is 55. Actor Wesley Snipes is 49. Country singer Chad Brock is 48. Author J.K. Rowling (“Harry Potter”) is 46. Actor Dean Cain is 45. Country singer Zac Brown is 33. Actor B.J. Novak (“The Office”) is 32. Actor Rico Rodriguez (“Modern Family”) is 13.


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