Neil Patrick Harris Almost Became The New Host Of ‘Late Show’

Neil Patrick Harris was almost set to host the Late Show after David Letterman stepped down. He turned it down though, and now it’s late night veteran Stephen Colbert in the infamous chair that once rivaled Johnny Carson.

Who knew that the boy who played a genius doctor on Doogie Howser, M.D. would end up declining such a coveted role on TV? Apparently Harris didn’t feel he fit the role and dismissed it almost as quickly as it came up.

Neil Patrick Harris is one of the most versatile actors of our day, having come from a child star role and landing even more memorable roles in the end. He starred as the womanizing lead Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother, one of the most beloved sitcoms of today, right up there with The Big Bang Theory.

It was his role in How I Met Your Mother that gave Harris such a good relationship with CBS, and a major reason he was considered to host the Late Show. He said no when CBS head Les Moonves approached him because he wanted more variety in his TV work:

“I felt like I knew what my skill set was and what I wanted to do after the show, with them. It surprised me [Moonves] pitched me that idea. I sat for a time with it while I was talking to him, and I told him what concerned me about the longevity of that kind of gig. I think I would get bored of the repetition fast. The structure is so set – I don’t have any interest in doing monologue, commercial, sketch, guest, guest, musical act, good night.”

He also starred in Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, where he plays the title villain in a musical series of videos. Harris recently went to Broadway to star in the stage production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award.

Harris also had a recurring cameo as himself in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, another performance that almost stole the show.

Are you disappointed that Neil Patrick Harris turned down the chance to host the Late Show?

[image via Helga Esteb /]