Ellen hosted Neil Patrick Harris earlier this year on her show, catching him right before the debut of the 2015 Oscars, which he was due to host. Of course, there’s so much more to Neil than just his hosting prowess – Ellen made sure to touch on a great deal of topics, from his kids to his best impressions of Oscar winners and nominees.
Neil talked about his kids and their developing sense of comedy. The comedian noted that his two kids, daughter Harper and son Gideon, were finally coming to a stage in their growth where they are really developing their vocabulary. The children’s concept of comedy, Harris noted, may still have a bit of growing up to do.
Neil explained that his two children love knock-knock jokes, and gave an example of one that Gideon would tell – “Knock, knock!” “Who’s there?” “Nicole,” “Nicole who?” “Nicole never bothered me anyway.” Both Ellen and Neil agreed that this was a great joke, but Neil went on to explain that Harper would then come along and say, “My turn! Knock, knock!” “Who’s there?” “Peter!” “Peter who?” “Peter never bothered me anyway.”
Ellen then prodded Neil Patrick Harris into talking about his preparations for the upcoming Oscars, and how he was feeling about hosting. Neil admitted his nerves, how he was still writing and rewriting jokes (and probably would be up until the last minute), and how Ellen’s own success with hosting the Oscars was something he was trying to live up to.
US Weekly noted that Neil was nervous about living up to Ellen’s spectacular selfie setup from last year’s Oscars.
“‘Your selfie shot was the most spectacular, successful thing,’ the Gone Girl actor gushed. ‘It worked out so well. But it’s a horrible dark cloud above my head now. How do you try to beat the selfie that broke the Internet?… It turned out to be a great thing. Selfies into my brain so I’m gonna try to do something better.'”
This, of course, is the tweet everyone is still talking about: the photo in which Ellen managed to wrangle up a lot of unexpected star-power in one photo.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014
Time noted how Harris wanted those attending, as well as those watching from home, to feel about the Oscars, and how he was hoping to achieve a sense of camaraderie between nominees and viewers.
“Harris said he’s hoping to strike just the right balance to amuse both nervous industry types in attendance and the millions of film lovers watching around the world. ‘I’m calm, and I feel good about the content that we’re doing. I want to make sure that the people that are in the theater, that are nominated, that are very nervous, enjoy the show and feel respected, like I’m talking to them,’ he shared. ‘But I think it’s more important – nay equally important – to be talking to people at home and making sure that the people, the larger group of people that are watching it at home feel that I’m talking to them and that they’re not excluded from the party,’ he said, adding, ‘but if I spend too much time talking to them I’m excluding the people whose party it is.'”
Lastly, Ellen pulled out a game for Neil to play where he played up his best impersonations of Oscar winners and nominees. Harris had to do the impressions of whatever star appeared on the screen of the tablet that Ellen was holding, and Ellen had to guess the star without glancing at the tablet. Stars included Matthew Mcconaughey, Jennifer Hudson, and Oprah.
[Photo: Wikipedia, Dimitrios Kambouris, Kevin Winter / Getty Images]