When Doogie Howser, M.D., ran its course, who could have ever imagined that its star, Neil Patrick Harris, would have the career he has? I certainly would not have guessed it. Harris has proven all the naysayers wrong and is one of the most versatile entertainers in the industry today.
As such, it is no surprise that he will be hosting the Tony Awards for a fourth time this Sunday. The awards, which air on CBS, are returning to Radio City Music Hall after spending the last two years at the smaller Beacon Theatre. The location change does not intimidate Harris.
"It’s far from a walk in the park, unless it’s Sunday and I’m George. I want to make sure that I’m honoring the theater season in its own unique way. And we’re lucky this year that we’re back at Radio City, which allows more people the chance to see the show live and gives more elbow room to the productions themselves. So I’m looking forward to a jumbo-sized version of the show. That makes my job a little bit easier," he said.
The Tonys will not be Harris' last hosting job, as he recently signed on to host the Emmy Awards for a second time. While he enjoys hosting those as well, he likes the freedom the Tonys provide.
"In other awards shows any creative content is usually put together quickly a few days before it runs live. But this is fourteen numbers being performed at 100 percent, and that’s exciting to be a part of, in a P.T. Barnum ringmaster kind of way. I’m also a big proponent of live performances and I always have been, whether it’s magic or Cirque du Soleil. I just think there’s something unique about seeing things live. So it’s not hard for me to crow about that," he said. "Also, it’s a little bit niche-y, which gives us the creative freedom to do whatever the eff we want. You have to answer to certain people, but when you get up there into Emmys and Oscar land, it has to be vetted through so many people that you get a lot of No’s. People are nervous. At the Tonys, we don’t have to deal with so many naysayers, so I get a little more creative control. That being said, there are things on my bucket list that I’m hoping to check off soon."