Haddish, Shatner, Paisley join Discovery’s ‘Shark Week’


By Mark Kennedy and Alicia Rancilio - Associated Press



This combination photo shows, from left, Tiffany Haddish, Brad Paisley, Snoop Dogg and William Shatner who will participate in this year’s Shark Week, with a new record of 45 hours of programming on the Discovery Channel and streaming on discovery+ between July 11-18.

This combination photo shows, from left, Tiffany Haddish, Brad Paisley, Snoop Dogg and William Shatner who will participate in this year’s Shark Week, with a new record of 45 hours of programming on the Discovery Channel and streaming on discovery+ between July 11-18.


AP Photo

NEW YORK — Deep in the ocean, surrounded by sharks, Tiffany Haddish stayed cool. She drew on her land-based survival skills.

“I was as frightened around them as I am around like a pack of pit bull dogs,” she said in an interview. “I feel like animals pick up on your energy. If you’re in there being scared, they’re like, ‘Well, what you got? Why are you scared?’ It’s like being in the ’hood.”

Haddish is among the celebrities signed on for this year’s Shark Week, with a record 45 hours of programming on the Discovery Channel and streaming on discovery+ between July 11-18.

Joining Haddish are Brad Paisley, William Shatner, Eric Bana, Snoop Dogg, Eli Roth, Robert Irwin, Ian Ziering, Tara Reid and cast members from “Jackass.” For Shark Week’s 33rd year, there are documentaries, many specials and even a reality series for shark fans to sink their teeth into.

Howard Swartz, a senior vice president at Discovery Channel, said Shark Week was born as a counterpoint for those who developed a fear of sharks and a desire to eradicate them after seeing “Jaws.”

“What has evolved over the last three-plus decades is to show that they’re not these mindless killing machines, that sharks are amazingly intelligent animals,” Swartz said. “Equally important is how critical they are to the ecosystem, how critically important they are to the health of the oceans and therefore to life on our planet.”

“Star Trek” star Shatner boldly went where he really didn’t want to go — diving with sharks. He suffers from galeophobia, a persistent fear of sharks, but he overcame it in “Expedition Unknown: Shark Trek.”

“I think it’s very healthy to be afraid of an animal that has an 18-inch jaw with three sets of teeth,” he said in an interview. “It’s designed to eat, not you necessarily, but to eat. And if you’re mistaken to be part of its food chain, that’s your problem.”

Eli Roth, the horror filmmaker behind the bloody classic “Hostel,” joined the documentary “Fin” to explain why millions of sharks have died to feed the continued demand for shark fin soup and other dishes. Bana narrates the doc “Envoy: Shark Cull,” which focuses on official controversial shark control programs used in Australia.

Noah Schnapp from the sci-fi series “Stranger Things” suits up to search for the strangest sharks in the ocean, while Irwin comes face-to-face with a Great White for the first time. Even the online television and video star known as Dr. Pimple Popper is getting in on the act: Dr. Sandra Lee will explore the world of shark skin and see if it can help human skin issues.

Paisley puts his musical talents to the test to see how sound can attract or repel sharks, and Snoop Dogg narrates crazy shark moves — like the beasts making eye-popping leaps out of the water, prompting the rapper to call them “thirsty as hell” — in “Sharkadelic Summer 2.”

For Haddish, her special about the reproduction of sharks — did you know female sharks have two uteruses? — will hopefully show how important to the planet sharks really are.

“We all need each other. It’s like ‘The Lion King’ — the circle of life. We keep each other alive,” she said. “No one on this planet for no reason.”

Swartz says inviting celebrities onto Shark Week is a bit like when “Sesame Street” has on famous guest stars — they help attract a wider, intergenerational audience.

“At the end of the day, what the celebrities do for us is to bring people into the tent who might not normally come to Shark Week,” he said. “Having said that, I will say you might be surprised at how many celebrities are fans of Shark Week.”

This combination photo shows, from left, Tiffany Haddish, Brad Paisley, Snoop Dogg and William Shatner who will participate in this year’s Shark Week, with a new record of 45 hours of programming on the Discovery Channel and streaming on discovery+ between July 11-18.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/07/web1_AP21189512077456-1-.jpgThis combination photo shows, from left, Tiffany Haddish, Brad Paisley, Snoop Dogg and William Shatner who will participate in this year’s Shark Week, with a new record of 45 hours of programming on the Discovery Channel and streaming on discovery+ between July 11-18. AP Photo

By Mark Kennedy and Alicia Rancilio

Associated Press

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