Is Aziz Ansari ready for the big time?
Our colleague Denise Martin at Show Tracker has the scoop that actor-comedian Aziz Ansari will be hosting the MTV Movie Awards in June. Film fans know how little the actual awards, which are mostly an excuse to pump the latest MTV-friendly franchises, actually matter in any real sense. But landing the host spot can mean something, especially when it's a younger name doing the landing. A gig can signal or even fuel a career spurt.
Three years back Sarah Silverman was starting to gain momentum when she landed the spot, and while she hasn't been a big deal in the film world, she's made a solid career for herself with "The Sarah Silverman Program" and a certain late-night viral-video bit.Can Ansari ride the same train? He's already coming off a trio of strong character turns in "Observe and Report," "Funny People," and "I Love You, Man" last year. The television series "Parks & Recreation" has kept him in the limelight (as has his "sensual evening" video, as a billboard in our neighborhood insists on reminding us). And judging by the early word, he'll be getting good notices from his turn opposite Jonah Hill and Russell Brand (another host favored by MTV) in "Get Him to the Greek" this summer.
Last year's host, Andy Samberg, hasn't quite seen his star shoot up since presiding over the teen and post-adolescent love fest. Ansari, with his brand of sometimes-aggro, sometimes-dorky multicultural spoofing should fare a little better.
-- Steven Zeitchik
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Photo: Aziz Ansari in "Funny People." Credit: Universal Pictures