Neil Patrick Harris Opens the Oscars: Grade the Host's Big Performance

Neil Patrick Harris Oscar Performance

It’s up to the host of the Oscars to set the tone for the show — and who knows more about tone than legendary song-and-dance man Neil Patrick Harris?

The former How I Met Your Mother star kicked things off Sunday with a show-stopping (or show-starting, whatever) number, channeling his inner Little-Mermaid-on-land as he “checked out” all of the amazing things around him.

Images of Marilyn Monroe, Sharon Stone’s hoo-hah and even the unspoken romance between Ben Affleck and Matt Damon graced the screen behind him as he belted out a tribute to “Moving Pictures.”

Throughout the performance, Harris was joined by Anna Kendrick — as her Into the Woods character, no less — and Jack Black, who totally won a Grammy a few weeks ago. (Never forget.)

Watch Harris’ performance below — you know, before it gets yanked off YouTube — then grade it and drop a comment with your full review.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Joni says:

    Neil’s opening was all I was interested in – not a fan of awards shows. He did great. More talent in his pinky finger than most have in their entire bodies.

  2. m3rcnate says:

    Perfection. Best in YEARS. What was VERY needed was that Jack Black bit…because its soooooo true. Now im not complaining fully, i LOVE the comic book movies and Star Wars movies and the soon to be influx of video game movies…but 50 Shades? Transformers 4? Making movies for China $? The formulaic scripts that dont push any boundaries and are made to have mass appeal? Gross.

  3. Kim R says:

    He’s just fantastic. That’s all. :)

  4. sandy says:

    He was amazing and funny loved the jack black bit….

  5. Kidwynn says:

    NPH was amazing!!!! I was looking forward to him hosting for weeks now.

  6. Timmah says:

    NPH was kind of disappointing given what I know he’s capable of. The Jack Black bit was great though.

  7. Et al says:

    very cute and catchy song. I could tell immediately it was written by the Lopezes (of frozen).

  8. kimberly mlejnek says:

    PERFECT…… I ADORE NPH he is amazing …. Anna.adorable and Jack was BRILLIANT
    Loved it… nailed it

  9. Tee says:

    Intro was great, but the rest of his hosting…not so much.

  10. Jared says:

    I love NPH. He is so talented.

  11. Connie says:

    neil’s opening the oscars was great. However the rest of the show is soooooooooooooo boring. His jokes or lack there of are awful, and make for some uncomfortable moments. when neil speaks i mute the volume, too awful to listen too. whew!!!! 3 hours of Neil Patrick Harris, Yuk!!!!

  12. Yasin says:

    As soon as I heard the music start I’m like are you kidding me? What would have impressed me, was if he hadn’t done a musical number. His hosting in general is too contrived and it’s not as natural as Ellen’s was last year. It’s

  13. M says:

    this awards show is a snooze

  14. rk535 says:

    I miss Ellen. :(

  15. Bruce Selegman says:

    Can’t believe that NPH bragged that he “pooped in his hat.” The Oscars deserve better, bring back Ellen.

    • Judygolf says:

      I soo agree about the distasteful NPH comment “pooped in his hat” not to mentioned when he came out in his underwear. I thought this was totally sick. Also, I found him boring, no personality in his presentations in practically everything he attempted to say and do. Oh, the big deal over his predictions in that locked case. What was that all about? ugh. I too wish Ellen would come back!

  16. Drew Jennings says:

    Our last time watching Oscar, switched off at the point where Neil came on in his underwear, it seemed more like some sort of ego trip for him, rather than an actual job. His comedic timing was awful and he just wasn’t funny. If this continues I can only imagine the Kardashian’s will be hosting in a few years.

  17. Jill says:

    Always surprised how people seem to love this guy. I was in a restaurant once when he came in. He immediately assumed the worst of us mere ‘mortals’ and requested ‘no pictures’ even though no one even had their phones out at the ready. He was not overtly rude but it was obvious that he took himself very seriously and definitely had an entitled arrogance about him. I saw that same demeaner in his performance tonight. Not a fan.

  18. Stephen says:

    It was good, but I think NPH has set the bar soooo high for himself with the Tonys.

  19. The Beach says:

    “Legendary song and dance man”? Really? That’s playing way too fast and loose with that description. I like NPH and he has done a commendable job hosting several awards shows but Fred Astaire was “legendary” as was Gene Kelley and a few others but not NPH, not yet anyway.

    • lauren says:

      Legendary is obvi a HIMYM reference. Please turn in your television now.

      • The Beach says:

        My television is just fine right where it is and is usually tuned into shows in the Breaking Bad, Justified genre. I only watched HIMYM a few times so if he indeed was a “legendary song and dance man” on that show, mea culpa.

  20. katedfw says:

    I love NPH but I thought he was a little nervous, jokes fell a little short and the freakin show was 45 minutes too long!

  21. Nikki says:

    His opening number was great. I really enjoyed it. The bit where he walked out in his underwear was pretty funny too. But beyond that I was a little disappointed. I’ve seen him host the Tonys and Emmys and he was always great. I don’t know if he was nervous or if he was more restricted in what he was allowed to do but a lot of his jokes fell flat.

  22. suzybel58 says:

    He was okay but his blue tux looked like it was too small and didn’t fit him.

  23. Tylo says:

    Epic fail. Jokes were ultimately lame and much too politically correct. A politician could have done a better job. Plus his suttle gestures and close proximity to the guests was just weird. I was expecting a much more out of the box approach with some risk taken.