It seemed but an eventuality, and now it will be a reality: Neil Patrick Harris was announced today as the host for the 87th Academy Awards, which will be held this February the 22nd. “We are thrilled to have Neil host the Oscars,” said Oscars producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron in the Academy’s official statement. Zadan and Meron have been in charge of the show for the past two years and went on to say, “We have known him his entire adult life, and we have watched him explode as a great performer in feature films, television and stage. To work with him on the Oscars is the perfect storm, all of his resources and talent coming together on a global stage.” Harris himself had a bit more fun with the announcement:
As it says on the list, this will be Harris’s first time hosting the Oscars, but he’s hardly a rookie to awards show pageantry, or even the Oscars themselves. He’s twice hosted the Emmys (in 2009 and 2013), has three times hosted the Tonys (2009, 2011, and 2012, winning – a little ironically – Emmys for his efforts each time), and provided the opening number for the 2010 Oscars (which were hosted by Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin). Jump forward to 1:45 for Harris’s entrance.
Harris has long been rumored as a potential Oscars host, probably mentioned most of anyone not named Fey or Poehler, and should be a crowd pleaser. His past hosting gigs have been celebrated for their large musical numbers, and in many ways Harris embodies the Academy’s holy grail hosting combination of the old-school showmanship and a draw to younger audiences. The Academy tried something similar with Seth MacFarlane two years ago, but Harris would seem to be a much safer choice than the broadly criticized MacFarlane.
Harris is currently on-screen in a supporting role in David Fincher’s Gone Girl and is attached as a voice actor to Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur, which is still officially scheduled for late next year but has been uncomfortably quiet for some time now.