Most soon-to-be award show hosts prepare for the big event by rehearsing their comedy bits or getting a crash course on attendees and presenters. Not Andy Samberg.
As he gears up to host the 2009 MTV Movie Awards on Sunday, Samberg's approach is like a trained boxer -- well, a fictional trained boxer.
"I've done lots of spiritual training," teased the 30-year-old viral video superstar. "Lots of meditation. I've been doing a lot of acupuncture. You know, I'm trying to keep my head clear. I've mainly been in a meat locker . . . pounding away on meat. Getting in shape. I went to Russia, hung around a farm. Mainly just training there. . . . This might be the themes from the 'Rocky' films."
But if Samberg doesn't seem nervous, it's only because he's returning to familiar territory. Before he joined the "Saturday Night Live" cast, before penning such facetious digital shorts as an Emmy Award-winning holiday song about a unique present in a box (which he wrote and performed in with Justin Timberlake), Samberg was a writer for the MTV Movie Awards in 2001, the year "SNL" alum Jimmy Fallon hosted.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Monday, June 01, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 National Desk 1 inches; 27 words Type of Material: Correction
Andy Samberg: A Calendar article Saturday about MTV Movie Awards host Andy Samberg said he wrote for the 2001 awards show. He wrote for the 2005 show.
"It's cool to be back," Samberg said. "There's been a lot of pretty amazing people that have hosted the show: Sarah Silverman, Jimmy Fallon, Ben Stiller. . . . And now me!"
His primary goal, Samberg says, is to make everyone laugh. If experience is any indication, he won't have too much trouble. His amusing digital shorts for "SNL" -- from "The Chronicles of Narnia"-referencing, Red Vines-promoting "Lazy Sunday" to the recent "Mother Lover" -- have received millions of hits.
He's fully aware that when it comes time to write his obituary, he'll probably be most remembered for those.
"I think some play off '. . . in a Box' will make for the headline," Samberg said. "If I could be remembered for only one short, I hope it would be 'Iran So Far.' It's one that I am most proud of because we actually achieved a statement in a way that didn't feel obnoxious to me. It felt like it had a little bit of intelligence to it. . . . And I think I kicked some pretty smooth rhymes on that one. But people love '. . . in a Box.' "
And though Samberg initially had no intention of writing a sequel to that wildly successful viral hit, he is happy with the success of "Mother Lover," this month's Mother's Day tribute about loving your best friend's mom, which again featured him and Timberlake, with Susan Sarandon and Patricia Clarkson as the mothers.
Perhaps a digital trilogy?
"I wouldn't rule it out," Samberg said, hinting that he would reunite with Timberlake on Sunday. With a bevy of stars at their disposal, another viral hit might be looming.