WATCH: Why does Neil Patrick Harris host everything? Oh right, because of this.

September 18, 2013

News that Neil Patrick Harris would host the upcoming Emmy Awards on CBS was greeted with — well, no reaction. It was extremely unsurprising news; not only is NPH the star of CBS’s “How I Met Your Mother,” but NPH is the host of everything.

So why is that the case? The former child star has been seen hosting shows from the Tony Awards (four times) to the Emmy Awards (now twice) to the World Magic Awards. If we had to guess, it’s because NPH is a wildly safe choice, in the sense that he’s game for anything, and there’s no chance he’s won’t be effortlessly charming. Plus — the videos speak for themselves:

He knows how to do an epic opening number. (2011 Tony Awards)

NPH burst onto the stage with a dazzling performance of “It’s Not Just for Gays Anymore (a tune written by Adam Schlesinger and David Javerbaum that ultimately won an Emmy for best original music and lyrics), with lines such as “The glamor of Broadway is beckoning straights/the people who marry in all 50 states/We’re asking every hetero/to get to know us better-o.” The feat looked even more impressive after Brooke Shields bungled her one line, leading to NPH making fun of her and still coming off as charming.

 

He knows how to drop a pop culture reference. (2013 Tony Awards)

During an elaborate opening song-and-dance routine that incorporated scenes from “Matilda,” “Kinky Boots,” “Bring It On the Musical” and more — along with some rapping — NPH effortlessly included a few snarky lines about the movie industry as he sang for almost eight minutes. “Can I have my Tom Hooper ‘Les Miz’ close-up, please?” he asked at one point, eyes wide as the camera zoomed in and the audience cackled. “See, on Broadway we don’t need extreme closeups to prove we’re singing live. We sing live eight shows a week. CHECK IT.”

 

He actually seems to enjoy being a host. (TV Land Awards 2009)

Unlike some people, who look like they would rather be doing anything else except being on the stage (James Franco, anyone?), NPH looks like he’s always having a blast — perhaps why he was even called on to host the TV Land Awards. To be fair, he did get to do some excellent impersonations of Dick Van Dyke and Rod Serling and make a few “Doogie” jokes as he wandered on to various sets of various TV shows.

 

He can incorporate songs into literally anything. (Emmy Awards 2009)

That’s right, NPH hosted the Emmys once before — and injected the usually stuffy ceremony with some singing and dancing at the beginning, with a well-placed Jon Hamm joke.

 

He can rap. (Tony Awards 2011). Enough said.

Emily Yahr is an entertainment reporter and pop culture blogger for the Style section. She joined the Post in May 2008, a week before she graduated from the University of Maryland, and worked on Lisa de Moraes' TV Column and blog.
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Emily Yahr | September 17, 2013