Andy Samberg picks up the Independent Spirit Awards host baton

Could 2013 provide the world with the best trio, er, quartet of awards show hosts ever?  “Family Guy” and “Ted” wunderkind Seth McFarlane is on board for the grand daddy, the Oscars; “SNL” vets and BFF’s Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are making NBC and the Golden Globes must see TV again; and now Film Independent has announced that the usually funny and creative Andy Samberg will top line the 2013 Independent Spirit Awards.  It’s signalling a new generation of emcees (for the moment) and at worst should pique casual award show viewers interest.  Granted, the Spirits are broadcast at 10 PM on a Saturday night on low rated IFC, but for those of us in the audience it should be fun.

Samberg follows Seth Rogen who delivered a mixed performance in his inaugural turn as Spirits host last year. Rogen showed up with a funny and somewhat nasty opening monologue, but practically disappeared throughout the rest of the show. Previous Spirits hosts have found it hard to hold the attention of the show’s sprawling and intoxicated, er, talkative audience, but Sarah Silverman, Samuel L. Jackson and longtime “safety” John Waters (the Billy Crystal of the Spirits) have received the most kudos over the years for mastering the difficult gig.

Best known for his years on “Saturday Night Live” and as a member of The Lonely Island comedy group, Samberg recently starred in “Celeste and Jesse Forever” which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was released by Sony Classics this past summer. He previously hosted the 2009 MTV Movie Awards which Film Independent noted was the highest rated Movie Awards since 2004 (of course a little movie franchise called “Twilight” had something to do with that).

The Spirits program doesn’t have the budget of the Oscars, but hosts pretty much have free rein to go in the creative direction they want to. Samberg seemed hampered by MTV’s restrictions and much younger demo when he hosted the MTV Movie Awards.  Here’s hoping the Spirits and Samberg find a way to bring out the best in one another.

The 28th Film Independent Spirit Awards will be held the afternoon of Feb. 23. The ceremony will be broadcast at 10 PM ET/PT on IFC.