After two Brits went without hits as hosts of these kudos, the Indie Spirts have hired “Community” star Joel McHale to emcee the 26th edition of their awards. The prizes will be handed out on Feb. 26, one day before the Oscars. Following last year’s ill-advised one-day shift to Friday and relocation to downtown L.A., the Spirit Awards return to their traditional Saturday afternoon slot at Santa Monica beach. That 2 p.m. start means that only a taped version of the show will air on IFC.
Besides his sitcom gig, McHale hosts “The Soup” on E! and tours with his stand-up act. In making the announcement of his hiring, Film Independent executive director Dawn Hudson said McHale’s “quick wit, talent and charm makes him a perfect fit for our audiences.” And IFC Executive Vice President & General Manager Jennifer Caserta thinks his “unique brand of comedy is perfectly in line with IFC’s ‘slightly off’ sensibility.”
Last year’s evening kudocast, which aired live on IFC, was hosted by Eddie Izzard who failed to click with the crowd. The 2008 awards were emceed by Steve Coogan, another English comedian whose humor did not travel well across the Atlantic. Prior to them, the talent roster included John Waters, who hosted multiple times, Rainn Wilson, Sarah Silverman and Samuel L. Jackson.
Nominees for this year’s Indie Spirt Awards will be announced by Eva Mendes and Jeremy Renner on Nov. 30 at The London West Hollywood Hotel.
Photo: Joel McHale (NBC)