Terry Crews Sticks to the Script on ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’: ‘Improv Is Overrated’

Joe Lo Truglio, Andy Samberg, Melissa
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

The cast and producers of Golden Globe-winning Fox comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” took to the New York City backlot of Universal Studios for a “Steak-Out” block party-cum-panel discussion (moderated by Jordan Peele) to celebrate Television Academy members, who turned out in droves for the Thursday night event.

New York taxis, NYPD cars and food trucks serving up burgers, curly fries and cheese quesadillas helped authenticate the scene, where stars Andy Samberg and Melissa Fumero, who play fellow detectives in the New York City police department, admitted that acting together on set was more “fun” than actual work.

“Even when we’re exhausted we’re having so much fun,” said Fumero. “We all feel so lucky because we all get along so well on set, which doesn’t always happen. We genuinely all like each other as human beings. So acting together in scenes is a joy.”

“We have an abnormal amount of fun for a job,” said Samberg. “But, you know, when you’re on hour 13 of a shoot and everybody’s tired and you’re having trouble with a scene — it’s not clicking or it’s hot or wherever — there’s always something that will make it seem like work.”

While Samberg, who also produces the show, will “add to the writing on set and gives script notes every now and then,” but, for the most part, the cast sticks to the hilarious, tightly-wound script.

“Improv is overrated,” said Terry Crews. “It takes a whole lot of improv to get a little bit of good comedy and the writers on our show have done such a good job of improv-ing in the writers room that by the time it gets out and they’ve written it up it’s all good.”

“Brooklyn” castmembers Joe Lo Truglio, Stephanie Beatriz, executive producers Mike Schur, Dan Goor and David Miner and Universal TV execs Bela Bajaria and Tracey Pakosta were also in attendance.

Chelsea Peretti shared her take on where small screen comedy is headed today.

“There’s been a lot of mobilization about things being offensive to different groups of people and things like that so it makes it a challenging time for comedy,” she said. “But also it’s kind of a cool challenge because what is the next generation of comedy? It’s an interesting time. I also believe people should have creative freedom but I think, you know, there was an ironic era and we’re moving out of it a little bit, but I’m not really sure what we’re moving into.”

Crews, who, when asked to choose his favorite street food described himself as a “hot dog guy,” was pleasantly “surprised” when “Brooklyn,” inspired by the 1970’s Hal Linden-starring comedy “Barney Miller,” nabbed the Golden Globe for best comedy straight out of the gate during season one.

“The competition was incredible,” he said, “and it’s all subjective, that’s the thing. I hate to look at this like it’s competition because they’re all funny. Who can say what show is funnier than the next? But I do appreciate the fans and the Hollywood Foreign Press. I think they know what the show is and what it’s going to be. This season it’s going to be better than ever. I think the next season and the next season after that it’s just gonna keep improving.”

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  1. I watched this when the season was almost over because there were so many cop/precinct named shows this year I did not know what was what. Once I played catch up and watched this one, I knew why they won the golden globe. Funny, fun to watch and great writing and pace. I am so glad this one made it.

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