Samberg ready to host MTV awards

By Sandy Cohen

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — Comedian Andy Samberg is going back to his roots.

Before he joined the “Saturday Night Live” cast, before he won an Emmy Award with Justin Timberlake for the irreverent music video “Dick in a Box,” Samberg worked as a writer for the MTV Movie Awards. He returns to host the show Sunday at the Gibson Amphitheatere.

The 30-year-old promises to bring his quirky comedic sensibility — and some new short films — to the 18th annual MTV kudo fest, which honors top performances as well as the “best kiss” and “best fight” of the past year in cinema.

On a patio just outside the show venue, a casually dressed Samberg talked about his happy homecoming and what fans can expect from his appearance on the MTV stage.

Q. So is this like returning to the scene of the crime?

A. Me and my two buddies that I work with, Akiva (Schaffer) and Jorma (Taccone), were writers for the show four years ago, and we wrote for Lindsay Lohan one year and Jimmy Fallon the next. Jimmy was actually the one who recommended us to “SNL,” so it’s a real full circle.

Q. What will Sunday’s show be like?

A. It’s going to be action-packed. There’s going to be some surprises — nothing I can divulge, but it will involve celebrities. It’s going to be great. There’s going to be some pre-taped stuff, some digital shorts-style stuff and a lot of fun collaborations. And obviously, Kings of Leon and Eminem are performing, so they’ll be great. And the list of presenters keeps getting longer and longer. It’s a lot of really rad people.

Q. You’re making some new digital shorts for the show. Can you give us any hints about them?

A. There’s something with a musical element.

Q. Will there be return appearances from some of your previous collaborators?

A. There’s a good chance of that. I’m not saying any names.

Q. How different is this from your work on “Saturday Night Live”?

A. Certainly hosting is a lot more akin to doing stand-up or doing like “Update” features on “SNL” than the actual sketch stuff, I think. In terms of doing the pre-taped, short-film stuff, there’s definitely going to be a lot of similarities to what we do on the show and what we’re doing here.

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