Neil Patrick Harris may not have been the first pick to host the Oscars next year, reports the Hollywood Reporter, but that didn’t keep him from being excited, posting a video on Twitter that placed hosting the Oscars on his bucket last after having children and meeting the president. Oscars producers' first pick for host was last year's host, Ellen DeGeneres, but she declined to take the gig a third time, the first being in 2007. Both Chris Rock, who had hosted in 2005, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus also turned down the offer.
A notoriously difficult gig to pull off, hosting the Oscars requires a mix of charm and edge, someone who can act as a Hollywood insider who will make stars feel comfortable, but not such a player that the event turns into a schmoozefest. 1988 host Chevy Chase went too far in the latter direction when his introductory remarks opened with "Good evening, Hollywood phonies," and went downhill from there.
Harris, who hosted the Tony Awards four years in a row starting in 2009 and won three Emmys as their host, has proven to be a Hollywood go-to -- unintimidating, suave and, like Hugh Jackman and Billy Crystal, arguably the most popular Oscars host ever, Harris is a song-and-dance man.
Harris also will be the first openly gay man to host at the Oscars.