Last night the Independent Spirit Awards were given out in a tent Santa Monica, California. The Artist won best feature, Michelle Williams won best female lead and host Seth Rogen kicked off the ceremony with a lot of swearing, a lot of jabs at celebrities, and a take down of the ceremony itself.
He started the speech criticizing the award ceremony’s digs: a beach-side tent. The camping and state fair references were kind of funny when you compare the accommodations to those at the Oscars, but it’s still a movie star-filled tent in beautiful location.
Some celebrity take downs seemed stale, like a joke built on Mel Gibson’s antisemitism, while others seemed too soon to kid about, like Chris Brown’s warm welcome at the Grammys despite his abusive past.
One biting celebrity comment that worked well was a remark about “cutting to Michael Shannon looking creepy.” It proved Micheal has a good sense of humor about himself when he supplemented his creepy expression by picking up a dinner knife.
Throughout the speech Seth laughed at his own jokes that landed well, which got a little grating, and wasn’t afraid to point out “that wasn’t a funny one,” when his lines met the sound of crickets. This kind of instant self-critique worked well; it’s hard to criticize a bad joke the comedian has already put down.
Possibly the best and most accurate line of the speech was when Seth talked about his hope that his hosting gig would improve his indie cred saying, “I don’t know what the opposite of selling out is, but I want that to happen.” Because in spite of all his assertions that winning an Independent Spirit Award doesn’t mean anything, it does make the winners seem a little off beat, a little edgy, like the first kid in your high school to discover Wes Anderson movies. Congratulations to all the winners on being just a little more cool.