LOS ANGELES - After attempting some English sophistication over the past two years, Film Independent has recruited its latest host for the Independent Spirit Awards from its own backyard.  The venerable film organization announced this morning that Joel McHale, best known as the longtime host of E!'s "The Soup" and star of NBC's "Community," will host the 2011 edition of the alternative movie awards show.

McHale follows 2010 host Eddie Izzard who didn't go over as well as expected mostly because his live audience wasn't adjusting well to the show's one and done move to a tented garage rooftop in downtown Los Angeles.  Still, Izzard was a huge improvement over Steve Coogan who seemed out of place and uncomfortable with the gig the year before. McHale joins an eclectic group of former emcee's including Rainn Wilson, Samuel L. Jackson, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Tilly, Sarah Silverman and John Waters, who famously hosted numerous times during the show's 26 year run.

Although a TV veteran, McHale is currently making a transition to the big screen.  The soon to be 39-year-old actor will appear in Robert Rodriguez's "Spy Kids 4," "What’s Your Number?," with Anna Faris and "The Big Year" with Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson.  In 2010, McHale starred in Steven Soderbergh’s comedic thriller "The Informant" alongside Matt Damon.

Meanwhile, the big awards show the day after the Spirits, the 83rd Annual Academy Awards, still has not announced who will host their shindig.  As Thanksgiving approaches, that has to be an increasing concern for both the Academy and broadcast network ABC.

The 2011 Independent Spirit Awards take place sturdy, February 26 at 2:00 p.m. but will not be broadcast live. Instead, the ceremony will air exclusively on IFC later that night at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. 

As always, look for continuing coverage of both the Spirit Awards and all aspects of awards season on HitFix.

 

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