Neil Patrick Harris: Performance Junky
By Dennis Hinzmann
Neil Patrick Harris can’t resist a song-and-dance number. Though the veteran Tony host will have to remain seated while Hugh Jackman opens and hosts the show this year (maybe?), his nomination should keep him comfortable.
His lead in Hedwig and the Angry Inch may be his biggest role of the year, but it shouldn’t totally eclipse his other performances. Harris has fit memorable musical numbers into plenty of his other roles—or rather had them fit for him. From belting about suits in How I Met Your Mother to singing reprises about facial hair as an animated sheep in A Million Ways to Die in the West, Harris is a true performer no matter what sort of stage.
Please note: Surprisingly, it took them until the third Harold and Kumar to get him to sing, but the cliché Christmas scene is worth the exchange with husband, David Burtka, who plays his drug dealer in the film. Here are six of our favorite Neil Patrick Harris song-and-dance numbers:
2011 Tony Awards Opening Number
The award show’s producers wised up after NPH’s inaugural hosting gig in 2009 and him be part of the opening festivities. The year that The Book of Mormon flooded the nominations was the year it was decided that Broadway was “not just for gays anymore.” Not just for us, but still mainly for us.
2013 Tony Awards Opening Number
Last year’s opening number was an experience in itself, and true to its message of “Bigger.” Mike Tyson, magic, and a nice budget helped make Harris’ fourth time hosting the show a memorable one. Though we’re still waiting for the Newsy we were promised in our gift bag.
How I Met Your Mother 100th Episode Song
Lady-killer Barney croons about the one thing he likes more than a gorgeous woman—his suits. A pot of gold? Eternal youth? World peace? No thanks, just the suits. Clothes over everything, Barney? Maybe he’s not as straight as he lets on.
“Dream On” Duet With Matthew Morrison – Glee
What’s better than NPH hitting all the high notes and performing his ass off? Matthew Morrison doing it right next to him. As Will Schuster’s high school nemesis, Bryan Ryan, Harris is embittered by how his life has turned out after being the star of their glee club and wants to cut funding for the current one. He’s so good at being bad.
“Confrontation” from Les Miserables with Jason Segel
Neil has been a Broadway baby for some time (even starring as the Emcee in Cabaret after Alan Cumming left the show during its last go-around). Here we see how he and How I Met Your Mother co-star Jason Segel’s multiple performances of “Confrontation” from Les Mis. After he mentioned it during a cast interview the pair has been asked to perform the song multiple times by fans and they almost always oblige. Can he just stay on-stage forever?
Bonus: Christmas Songs in A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas
Though far from his best singing performance, his scene in the third installment of the Harold and Kumar franchise alongside husband David Burtka was beyond hysterical. In the films Harris portrays a crack-hound sex fiend and Burtka is his drug dealer. It’s the complete antithesis of what their relationship is like in real life and worth a watch and laugh.