Samberg, the story goes, had wanted to be on Saturday Night Live ever since he was 8 years old. The son of Joe and Margie Samberg — a photographer and an elementary-school teacher, respectively, who raised their son in the Bay Area — he recalls vividly how he stumbled across the show. He used to sneak into the TV room late on Saturday nights, when his parents thought he was asleep. Young Andy was a World Wrestling Federation fan, and from 1985 until 1992, NBC occasionally aired Saturday Night’s Main Event in lieu of SNL reruns.
He’d hoped to watch Vince McMahon and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper introducing men in tights. But that night, when he turned on the TV, he dialed in SNL, whose cast at that point featured the late Phil Hartman, Jan Hooks, Dana Carvey, Farley, Mike Myers and young-comers named Chris Rock, David Spade and Adam Sandler. “I started watching SNL by accident,” Samberg says.
He was hooked; the boy liked to laugh. So he went looking for other things that made him feel the same way and found, along the way, Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Mel Brooks’ much-mocked sci-fi parody, Spaceballs.
“I was really into Spaceballs — like, really loved Spaceballs,” he says.