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Hasan Minhaj took his talents to the beach on Saturday for the first time as the host for the 2023 Independent Spirit Awards.
“For those of you wondering, I am definitely not making as much as Jerrod Carmichael made when he hosted the Golden Globes,” Minhaj kicked off his opening monologue. “Not even close. I am literally making 1/1000 of what he made. They just handed me a Starbucks gift card, and they were like, ‘Hey man, just use what’s left on it.'”
He went on to joke that instead of broadcasting the Spirit Awards ceremony like it does every year, IFC chose to air Semi-Pro, a movie that, Minhaj said, lost money at the box office and has a 22 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
The comedian then switched his focus to Hollywood’s A-listers, who made their way to Santa Monica for the daytime awards show.
“When you all told your parents you wanted to move to L.A. to make it, this was their worst nightmare,” he quipped. “They were afraid you would end up in a tent with a brown man and a webcam.”
He later shouted out the film nominees, like Everything Everywhere All at Once (“the Daniels are either geniuses or very hungry”); Bones and All (“How many movies are we going to make about Timothée Chalamet falling in love with a cannibal?”); and Tár (“A movie about how the worst thing that can happen to a white woman is being forced to work with Asian people”).
After addressing film nominees, Minhaj switched his focus to the television nominees, singling out Abbott Elementary‘s Quinta Brunson, who was watching Semi-Pro on IFC, and Mo Amer, who was checking out Minhaj’s “star meter” on IMDb.
Toward the end of his opening monologue, the comedian said that awards shows are dead.
“My 2-year-old watched slime videos with more views than the Oscars, but you all showed up,” he said. “You’re truly in it for the love of the game. No one asked you to make the movies you made, and honestly, no one watched them,” he joked.
Minhaj continued, “the entire industry stands on the shoulders of independent film because that’s how film got started: A bunch of weirdos got together and made the stuff that they wanted to see. That’s how some of the greatest movies ever were made … And remember this, we don’t do this work for the money. We do it for the fame because our dads were fucked up to us.”
In a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the 2023 Spirit Awards, Minhaj revealed that it was an immediate “yes” for him when he was asked to host.
“[The hosts are] always so funny and iconic that when you get that call, I’m like, ‘I’m open. I’m there. I’ll make it happen,'” he said. “Everybody that’s done [the gig] in these past few years has been so great. Some of my favorites have been the two times Aubrey Plaza has done it, Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, Patton Oswalt and Seth Rogen.”
The Independent Spirit Awards streamed live on IMDb, as well as across various social platforms, including Film Independent’s YouTube channel, Twitter and Facebook. Check out the 2023 Spirit Awards’ star-studded red carpet arrivals here.
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