Neil Patrick Harris planning ‘something better’ than Ellen’s Oscar selfie

Neil Patrick Harris arrives at the 87th Academy Awards nominees luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Feb. 2, 2015.
(Jordan Strauss / Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Neil Patrick Harris knows he’s got some big shoes to fill as host of the Oscars the year after Ellen DeGeneres.

Make that a big selfie to fill.

“Here’s my biggest concern: Your selfie shot was the most spectacular successful thing,” the “How I Met Your Mother” star said on Wednesday’s episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” ahead of his hosting gig Sunday.

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“It worked out so well and it’s this horrible dark cloud above my head now. How do you beat the selfie that broke the Internet?” he asked.

Indeed, DeGeneres wrangled the evening’s heavyweights and broke records with the cellphone shot. (She also held the attention of 43 million viewers on average, leading the show to its best ratings in a decade.)

“I see that in my nightmares,” Harris said.

DeGeneres attributed the success of the snapshot to luck.

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“It really, you can’t plan that. I hoped it would happen. I hoped people would jump in. So all you have to do is have a nugget of a good idea and if everybody’s onboard and they’re playing, whatever your idea is, they’re with you. That just was a perfect fluke that happened and I was so lucky,” DeGeneres explained.

Harris said that selfie has been imprinted on his brain, promising: “I’m going to try to do something better.”

DeGeneres suggested that he “paint them.”


The “Choose Your Own Autobiography” author, who’s successfully hosted the Tony Awards four times and Emmy Awards twice, told her that’s he’s calm but has been struggling with content for Sunday’s big event.

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“It’s a tricky process with the content,” he said, “because I’m finding that good jokes that we have that are solid, that we think are funny and strong. Then I’ll watch a late-night talk show then they’ll say the same joke -- you go ‘Ahh!’ The Grammys, ‘Saturday Night Live’! I just want everyone to stop talking until Monday!”

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times’ Rebecca Keegan, three-time Academy Awards telecast co-producer Neil Meron said Harris easily bridges the gap between edgy and obnoxious.


“Neil [Patrick Harris] wants to have a tone that is very funny, very friendly. He’s not gonna take jabs at anybody,” Meron said. “He has all sorts of unusual, unique things he wants to do that we haven’t seen on another Oscar show.”

As for the show itself, co-producer Craig Zadan is planning for it to be entertaining.

“If you’re tuning in because you care to see who wins what, that’s great,” Zadan said. “But ... we’ve attracted a whole new audience who have tuned in to see the entertainment.”

Follow me on Twitter @NardineSaad.