NPH hosts the Oscars
Jason Merritt/ Kevin Winter/ Jeff Kravitz/ Ethan Miller/ Getty Images
It was such a promising beginning, wasn’t it?
Look. There wasn’t anyone not on Neil Patrick Harris’s team last night. Which, of course, is a testament to his popularity but also, perhaps, in retrospect, a detriment too because, well, he was the one we all EXPECTED to deliver. Even they, in the audience, the celebrities themselves, expected him to deliver.
Should we blame it on the writers? Because, sh-t, some of those jokes, almost all of those jokes, were BRUTAL. Like you know you’re flailing when Bradley Cooper’s girlfriend is rolling her eyes at you. That’s when you know you’re in trouble. When Oprah’s face has zero warmth. When you can almost hear them groaning.
But if the writers are the ones who have to own most of the material that fell flat, who’s responsible for the fact that NPH could not pronounce so many names…and so many times?
Brad Pitt taught a class on how to pronounce David Oyelowo. Click here for a refresher. And it wasn’t just once. NPH fumbled multiple times on the same person. So, to me, that’s just…well… it’s just not well prepared. On our little Canadian TV show, even we prepare for pronunciation. Even we have spreadsheets and sounders and videos that we have to study so as to get every name proper. So for the host of the Oscar telecast to keep f-cking it up…
It’s not his usual standard. And I hate to call him out on that, I do, because not even I’m such a c-nt to want to snark on NPH but at some point, even his most ardent fans have to admit that what we saw last night is not the performer we know, not the one we became accustomed to.
Is that what happens when it’s too obvious? When the obvious becomes …stale? Is it time for a break? Maybe it’s time for a break. When John Travolta saves your show, we should really be thinking about a break.