Saturday, July 04, 2009

Ask Andy Samberg Blog: Who plays "Andy's Dad" in the Andy and Jonah Hill skit?

Our question comes from Kyle (Here's Kyle's profile

one of my favorite shorts is the one with Jonah Hill called 'Andys Dad' i was wondering who plays Andy's dad

Answer: James Downey

Click here to watch the video:

Andy's Dad

James is the second longest-running writer on SNL, second only to Lorne. Observe:

Lorne Michaels (568 episodes, 1975-2009)
James Downey (490 episodes, 1976-2009)
Robert Smigel (443 episodes, 1985-2009)
Herbert Sargent (335 episodes, 1975-1995)
Al Franken (299 episodes, 1975-2008)
Tom Davis (278 episodes, 1975-2003)
Steve Higgins (267 episodes, 1995-2009)
Paula Pell (258 episodes, 1995-2009)
Andrew Steele (247 episodes, 1995-2008)
Jack Handey (190 episodes, 1985-2002)
Dennis McNicholas(179 episodes, 1995-2004)
Tina Fey (179 episodes, 1997-2006)

Marci interviews James Downey:

James started on SNL in 1976. He has appeared in 76 episodes, most often as a narrator or announcer, including from this season:

Zac Efron/Yeah Yeah Yeahs (2009).... Sketch announcer
Hugh Laurie/Kanye West (2008).... C-Span Announcer
Tim McGraw/Ludacris/T-Pain (2008).... C-Span Announcer
Jon Hamm/Coldplay (2008).... C-Span Announcer
James Franco/Kings of Leon (2008).... 'New York Times' Narrator

He was the Head Writer (currently Seth Meyer's job, but Tina Fey is the most famous for being the head writer) from 1982-1984, and he since decided to just be a writer and concentrate on that.

He was also the head writer on David Letterman from 1982-1984, but he has almost exclusively just done SNL his whole career.

He's been nominated for 21 Emmy awards, and he's won 4 of them.

He's the uncle of former SNL cast member, Robert Downey Jr.

In 1995 Downey appeared in the film Billy Madison (classic Adam Sandler) as the high school principal who referees the quiz contest at the end of the movie. You know, the one who kept talking about how his wife was a dirty tramp.

In 1998 Downey appeared in the film Dirty Work (class Norm Macdonald) in the role of a homeless man.

Other than "Andy's Dad," his most notable SNL performances were parody commercials such as "Craig's Travellers Checks," "First Citiwide Change Bank," and "Grayson Moorhead Securities."

James Downey is most known for writing all the political cold openings, and he was the major player in writing all the Bill Clinton, Will Ferell George Bush, Hilary Clinton, Obama, and Palin skits that SNL is famous for. He chose to bring to light that the media favored Obama and use that for the subject of humor in several of his skits, making people think that he was pro-Hilary (but he actually preferred Obama; they were trying to bash everybody equally).

Go here to watch Charlie Rose interviews with James Downey, Lorne Michaels, Seth Meyers, and Fred Armisen:

Personally, I think that was evident because SNL and Fred Armisen have yet to truly make fun of Obama, other than little things like making fun of his half hour show he sponsored. The result is that most people don't think SNL has the funniest Obama impression (and YouTubers have capitalized on that with their own impressions).

From Wikipedia:

Downey attended Harvard University, graduating in 1974 with a degree in Russian. While at Harvard, he wrote for the Harvard Lampoon, at a time when (as Steve O'Donnell said in 1987) "the proliferation of cable and the proliferation of comedy [led] the sensibilities of the Lampoon [to become] a little closer to the sensibilities of the mass media."[2] Downey, a member of that first generation of Lampoon writers to make a career in television, has been credited with playing a role in that shift. In 1976, 100 Years of Harvard Lampoon Parodies was published in magazine format, edited by Downey and Eric Rayman.

In 1976, Downey became a writer for Saturday Night Live. He worked on 27 of the show's first 32 seasons, one of the longest tenures in the show's history.[1] His first stretch as writer for the show ran from 1976 to 1980, culminating in a brief stint as a featured cast member. By the 1979-1980 season, Lorne Michaels had lost both Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi to feature film careers, causing him to look to writers like Downey, Tom Schiller, Dan Aykroyd's brother Peter, Al Franken, Alan Zweibel, and Tom Davis to fill spots as castmembers (along with SNL bandleader Paul Shaffer and newcomer Harry Shearer). When Michaels left the show in 1980, so did Downey, along with practically everyone else.

After leaving SNL, Downey went on to become head writer of Late Night with David Letterman for a little over a year during its formative stages. He returned to SNL in 1984, serving for a while as head writer. When Norm Macdonald began as Weekend Update anchor in the mid-1990s, Downey wrote exclusively for that segment of the show. Downey and Macdonald subsequently became a team, working away from the rest of the cast and crew. When Macdonald was fired from the show in 1998, Downey went with him, only to return to the show in 2000. He continues to write for the show, pausing only in 2005 to work on a novel.

In 2008 Downey received attention for his political sketches on SNL. In early 2008, his sketches mocked the Democratic Presidential Debates. The sketches depicted the news media as biased toward candidate Barack Obama. After the first sketch aired, candidate Hillary Clinton referred to it at the beginning of the next debate.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

dang! i was hoping that was his actual dad :-P

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