Why Neil Patrick Harris doesn't plan to host the Oscars again

Why Neil Patrick Harris doesn't plan to host the Oscars again
Host Neil Patrick Harris performs a magic trick during the telecast of the 87th Academy Awards on Feb. 22. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Neil Patrick Harris isn't conjuring up another Academy Awards hosting gig for himself -- so let's all tuck that notion right back into his magical briefcase.

The "How I Met Your Mother" star revealed that this year's Oscars gig was a one-time thing, saying that given the amount of work he put in and the feedback he received, he isn't sure it's worth doing again.


"I don't know that my family nor my soul could take it," the father of two joked in an interview with the Huffington Post. "It's a beast. 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."

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The actor, 41, who successfully hosted four Tony Awards ceremonies and two Primetime Emmy Awards, didn't receive the most glowing reviews for his performance in the highly scrutinized gig. The show's ratings were down from the previous year's telecast, which was hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.

"I didn't keep up with it obsessively, but it was interesting to see just what people thought landed and didn't," Harris said of the feedback. "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. And I'm not saying that to defend everything I said as if it was the absolute best choice, but it's also an award show, and you're powering through 14 acts filled with 20-plus awards."

Before the show, he tweeted that he was "super appreciative" of the writers who were hired to write his material for the Oscars. "If only they could write everything I say always. #proud," he said.

That group had him open the show with a spectacle-filled musical number called "Moving Pictures," running through the audience "Birdman"-style in only his underwear, calling out seat-fillers and closing with a much-hyped magic trick.

After the show, he tweeted: "My iphone shattered the morning of the Oscars. I probably should have read more into that. #harbinger"

DeGeneres thought the actor did a great job, but, knowing the pressure of the emceeing, had personally looked forward to watching from her sofa.

"What a night. Congratulations @ActuallyNPH on doing a wonderful job. Not to mention those tighty whiteys. #Oscars2015," she tweeted.

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Harris added that he was "glad he got through" his performance and thought that the audience members in the Dolby Theatre "seemed to be enjoying themselves more as the show went on," even though he was told the opposite was usually true.

"I was told that as the room fills, with, you know, it's four-fifths of the room didn't win, and you get further into the award-giving, they get less enthusiastic and less excited," he said.

"And I felt while we were doing it, that people were enjoying themselves more and more, so for that I'm happy."


Who do you think should host the 88th Academy Awards? Cast your vote here.

Follow me on Twitter @NardineSaad.