Neil Patrick Harris won’t sing and dance, nor deliver “cheap shots” at the expense of TV stars sitting in the audience at this Sunday’s Emmy Awards in L.A.
That was the word from Harris himself, who shed some light on how this Sunday’s Emmy Awards will play out when he talked about his upcoming hosting stint Tuesday night on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”
Harris, 40, is hosting the Emmys for the second time. The big show airs this Sunday (Sept. 22), starting at 8/7c on CBS — the network where Harris stars on “How I Met Your Mother.”
He’s been a go-to awards-show host for several years now. Just last spring, he hosted Broadway’s Tony Awards for the fourth time.
He has apparently learned a lot about hosting these things, and one thing he doesn’t like to do is take “cheap shots” at Emmy nominees on a night that is very special for them.
“But that’s my favorite part of the show,” Jay Leno protested when Harris told him he won’t do “insult” comedy on Sunday night.
Harris laughed at that, and he acknowledged that it can be funny when comedian-hosts take shots at the stars sitting in the audience. Still, Harris said he feels it’s a special night for these nominees, and he’s not intent on raining on their parade.
The multi-talented entertainer said he won’t open the show with a song-and-dance number. He explained that he didn’t want do that so soon after opening last spring’s Tonys with a musical performance.
“I’m not going to do a big song-and-dance opening because that went so well on the Tonys,” he said. “I did the Tonys recently, and I didn’t want to spend a lot of time rehearsing something and then have it be compared to something that I had just done.”
Harris has a producer’s title on Sunday’s Emmy show and he is reportedly a hands-on producer. On “The Tonight Show,” he revealed a deep knowledge of awards shows and how they are different.
On the Emmys, “there are 26 awards that are given out in the same period that on the Tonys 14 awards are given out, and I think on the Oscars, like 12 in the same amount of time,” Harris said.
As host of the Emmys, Harris said he’s “just a big fan of TV. He’s “easily starstruck by all kinds of people,” he said. “And that’s I think the wonderful thing about the Emmys. It’s a night that honors all the types of shows all in one big room altogether.”
He also revealed something that will be different from past Emmys — indeed, different from most televised awards shows. Most of the time, the hosts of these shows start off the evening with a splashy opening and then disappear — only to return sporadically. This time around, Harris will be on stage for the entire show, standing on the side behind a special podium — as a host should be.
“I’m having a home base a kind of podium that I get to stand at,” he said. “I’m not going to do my intro, then split and not come back for an hour. I’m going to be out there throwing it to people.”