This week’s New York Times Magazine features a cover story by Gerald Marzorati about tennis rivalries. The story is good, but the accompanying photos steal the show. For the article, the magazine asked renowned sports photographer Walter Iooss, Jr. to photograph comedian (and SNL star) Andy Samberg dressed as some of the world’s greatest tennis stars in their prime, recreating famous on-court action shots. The result, as you can see from the cover and also in this slide show, is a brilliant achievement all around.
Samberg is probably best known for his series of “Lonely Island” songs and music videos — in which he and his bandmates (along with the occasional appearance of Justin Timberlake or Michael Bolton) sing heartfelt ballads about things like spending the day on a boat or being the world’s worst boss. In this series of photos, Samberg’s comic knack is perfectly suited to the over-the-top theatrics of stars like John McEnroe and Andre Agassi. Between that, and a highly-skilled team of costumers and makeup artists, Samberg is literally transformed — with highly entertaining results.