The big question about this year’s MTV Movie Awards isn’t who is nominated but who is Aziz Ansari and why is he hosting the show?
“I am a comedian. I’m an actor. And I can also get you a good deal on a brand new KIA,” explains Ansari, who is probably best known as the always-scheming Tom Haverford on NBC’s Parks and Recreation.
“I think they (MTV producers) were under the impression I was a Jonas Brother.”
Maybe so. Though it may also have been Ansari’s stand-up comedy, his work on the MTV sketch series Human Giant, and small roles in recent features like Funny People and Observe and Report that got him the gig.
Truth is, the show’s raucous, anything-goes, live atmosphere is a perfect stage for a comic used to surviving on his feet.
“I’m excited to do the show. It’s really a great honour,” says Ansari. “When you look at the previous hosts (which include Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy and Sarah Silverman). I mean, it’s real good company to be in.”
Though he has yet to begin writing material, Ansari says that because the awards are all about movies (top nominees include Avatar, The Hangover and The Twilight Saga: New Moon), it can write itself.
“You can’t ask for anything more than a movie show. It’s ridiculous fodder to react to,” he says.
“To prepare myself, I’m trying to get one with the audience. I’ve pasted a picture of (Twilight’s) Robert Pattison on my ceiling and just stare at it.”
Ansari says the best bits in previous years tended to be “moments we couldn’t possibly plan”. Indeed, one does wonder if the actual awards — which include such new categories as Best Badass Star and Best Scared-As-S—t Performance — even matter at the end of the day.
“Wait till you see someone win the Best Global Superstar Award. They do matter,” Ansari insists.