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Spirit Awards: Joel McHale does his homework

February 24, 2011 |  5:00 pm


Joel McHale has much more than a bowl of "Soup" on his plate. In addition to hosting E!'s caustic takedown of reality TV, McHale also stars in NBC's ensemble comedy "Community," and still works regularly as a stand-up comedian. And on Saturday, he'll likely utilize all his skills as he hosts the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards honoring independent films.

He promises to tamp down some of that biting wit, though, because he has great respect for independent films, which are a world apart from his normal target -- "Bridalplasty," say. What he doesn't have is great amounts of time to go see films.

That fact left him with quite a bit of homework to do before the awards -- he needed to catch up on the nominees. “I’ve been watching tons of films,” McHale said. “I watch in my trailer, try to watch in the morning. I was given a big bag of screeners and sternly told, ‘Do not lose this or there will be big trouble.' "

He quipped, “It was like I was being handed the secret launch codes.”

-- Greg Braxton

Photo: Joel McHale, left and Danny Pudi in a scene from "Community." Credit: NBCUniversal