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The Inside Story Behind Andy Samberg’s HBO Now Emmys Bit

HBO was tipped off that gag was coming and let it play out before disabling the account

Andy Samberg gave all of America a taste of HBO Now Sunday night during an Emmys bit that at first appeared to screw over the premium network.

While HBO wasn’t necessarily in on the joke, which saw host Samberg (pictured above) share his “own” HBO Now username and password on-screen during the live Fox broadcast — the pay-TV network that dominated in the eventual trophy count knew it was coming.

HBO was “given a heads up on the bit though not all of the details,” an insider with knowledge of the show told TheWrap. In other words, the channel knew that something along the lines of a password-sharing joke was coming, but it was not a coordinated effort at all, nor a paid HBO Now spot.

Fox knew the gag was coming from Samberg’s camp, of course, but had no inclination to kill it. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, including the company Samberg seemingly burned.

Publicly, HBO was quick to laugh at itself on social media, capitalizing on the momentum and plugging its own product. It even spring-boarded off the gag as a way to advertise its free 30-day trial membership.

Lucky for you, @AndySamberg is a very generous #Emmys host,” HBO Now wrote right after the moment aired, republishing the very real login information of User Name: Khaleesifan3@emmyhost.com and Password: password1.

“Samberg’s” account hit login limitations pretty quickly and thus became inaccessible, at which point HBO Now posted this on Twitter:

Don’t fret, HBO Now subscribers who share their login with a friend (or two or three): the removal of accessibility to Khaleesifan3’s account is not something that would occur under normal circumstances, TheWrap learned.

Samberg’s for-the-sake-of-the-joke account was disabled late Sunday night, TheWrap was told. The “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” funnyman recently starred in HBO TV movie “7 Days in Hell” alongside “Game of Thrones” actor Kit Harington.

HBO declined to offer any statistics about usage during or possible membership growth as a result of the stunt when asked.