Neil Patrick Harris was understandably excited to host the Oscars. It’s an enormous undertaking, full of great possibility. Unfortunately, it’s also full of the possibility that it will be pretty crappy, and the general consensus this year was that Harris’ innate likability was unable to overcome the creeping sense of fatigue and ennui that comes with a three and a half hour telecast stuffed with bad jokes and endless references to a magic trick with minimal payoff. All of which helps to explain why Harris is already saying that he won’t host the Oscars again, and he saw all your helpful critiques, thank you very much.
“It was fun to check off the list, but for the amount of time spent and the understandable opinionated response, I don’t know that it’s a delightful balance to do every year or even again,” Harris said, the way that people often refer to getting publicly raked over the coals after exhausting themselves for weeks on end to host a single show as a “delightful balance.” He added, “I don’t know that my family nor my soul could take it. It’s a beast.” So, to reiterate, Neil Patrick Harris thinks the hosting the Oscars threatens your very soul, a refreshing sense of perspective that perfectly captures the weight that people in Hollywood believe is attached to the Academy Awards, as opposed to, say, working the night shift in a Brooklyn ER.
Harris continued to explain at length the amount of bargaining and trade-off that goes into creating the show, which is definitely the kind of thing you talk about when you’re happy with what you did. “It’s so difficult for one who’s simply watching the show to realize just how much time and concession and compromise and explanation has gone into almost every single thing. Every joke. Wording of joke. Placement of joke. Canceling of joke. Embellishment for just one line,” he stressed, in case it wasn’t clear that what you saw in the Dolby theatre wasn’t Neil Patrick Harris, but rather a hollowed-out shell of Neil Patrick Harris, spouting one-liners he knew sucked. He stopped short of adding, “Why don’t YOU host if you have so many problems with it?” and sticking out his tongue, but that’s why he has earned a reputation as a gentleman.
Not that he isn’t fine, just absolutely fine, with all of your little comments. “So my job was to try and keep things as light and specific to this year’s set of films as possible. And if people are critical of that, it’s a big giant platform, so I would assume that they would be.” At which point a giant thought bubble appeared above his head, reading “HATERS GONNA HATE,” and Neil Patrick Harris strode off, a pair of pixellated black sunglasses slowly descending from the sky and attaching to his face.