Joel McHale’s Independent Spirit Awards monologue needs no song and dance…just tongue exercises

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By Becca Seel

Joel McHale hosted the artsy 2011 Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday night, the ceremony devoted to rewarding independent film.

In light of a string of awards shows with less than stellar hosts, McHale nailed it with an hilarious, relevant monologue.

McHale played to the audience of “fine art and fine art history majors.” He made fun of the small audience, the biggest laughs from which were for his shout out to “the criminally underused James Franco.”

McHale is pulled from a different pool of showbiz. He has a snarky show on E!, is on a quiet cult comedy, and is skilled in improv. His jokes were not written by Bruce Vilanch and he was allowed to curse and say whatever he wanted. Jokes about masturbation, cunnilingus, and gingers were fair game.

There’s a lesson to be learned that the right host with the right jokes can be truly magical. There’s no real formula for awards show success, but if there was winner this year it was Joel McHale.

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