Poll: How Was Neil Patrick Harris as Oscar Host?

It seems like, ever since the Oscars aired this past Sunday, all I’ve heard are endless complaints about how bad Neil Patrick Harris was as host. Most of these criticisms seem unfair to me, and some are just plain mystifying. How do you think he did?

I thought he was fine, frankly. Was he the best host in Oscar history? No, I don’t think he quite lived up to Johnny Carson’s tenure or Billy Crystal at his prime. I’d even say that Ellen DeGeneres was a little better last year. However, why has everyone suddenly forgotten that unwatchable horrorshow that Crystal hosted a few years ago? Harris was also certainly better than Seth MacFarlane.

Yes, the ceremony ran interminably long, as it always does. Yes, there were far too many pointless production numbers, and the presenters’ banter was all woefully inane, as always happen. None of this is in the host’s control. All the host can do is be personable, and try to keep the mood light and the audience’s spirits up as the show trudges through all the awards and all the bloat mandated by the producers. I think Harris accomplished that.

OK, his opening song was lame, not all of his jokes landed, and the magic act bit was anticlimactic. Fine, I’ll give you that. He wasn’t the best host ever. I still think he did as good a job overall as any person can reasonably be expected to do. Hosting this show is a thankless task, and I have no idea why anyone would ever agree to do it.

How Was Neil Patrick Harris as 2015 Oscar Host?

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  1. He was pretty bad. Not the worst, but still quite bad. It was a mix of really bad writing and his stale delivery that made it so bad. Even when he tried to interact with the audience it was very awkward. Every time he would call out Octavia Spencer I would cringe. I honestly thought he was a great choice until I saw the show. Now I am embarrassed for him.

  2. He was just okay…nothing memorable, but – as you said, Josh – nothing horrible, either. Not as good as Ellen last year, but world’s better than the Seth MacFarlane train wreck from a few years back.

    In recent years, only Ellen and Hugh Jackman have delivered memorable shows – and that includes the Billy Crystal ‘comeback’ from a few years back.

  3. William Henley

    Missing options – “I didn’t watch. I was watching Blu-Rays, who wants to watch something in ugly broadcast HD?” :-p

    Truthfully, I don’t watch awards shows anymore. Haven’t in years. I just want to know who won, which I can get on the internet later, and maybe something special that happened, like Lady Gaga’s tribute to Sound of Music, which I watched on YouTube the next day.

    Main reason I don’t watch is that I haven’t seen most of the movies that get nominated, and in many cases, haven’t even heard of them. I feel more attachment to People’s / Kids / Teens Choice Awards than to the Academy, and I rarely watch those. I think last awards show I watched was the Dove Awards a couple of years ago because I personally knew people who were nominated, Last time I watched the Oscars was I think when the South Park movie got nominated, and I watched mainly to see Robin Williams sing Blame Canada.

    I just have no interest in watching award shows. I don’t care about fashion, I don’t care for the red carpet interviews, the horrible host monologues, and the nominies in all of the top categories being in movies I never heard of (this year was different, I had heard of most of them, and even saw a couple, but I still did not really care).

  4. I thought he was great. Opening number was funny and also featured fun turns from Jack Black and Anna Kendrick. The jokes about how white the academy is and talking to David Oyelowo in the audience were funny and spot-on. I honestly don’t know what people have to complain about when talking NPH. The real problem with the Oscar broadcast was the ten minutes devoted to Sound Of Music. Are we gonna start doing that every time a big movie turns 50? Will the 2022 broadcast feature a Godfather tribute? More importantly, with the 2024 Oscars pay homage to Godfather II? What a waste of time.
    Favorite part of the show was the Birdman/Whiplash gag with NPH in his undies and Miles Teller on drums.

  5. timcharger

    The choices offered in the poll made me curve his grade higher.

    It was between he was adequate and he was VERY disappointing.
    The “very” part made me not pick that choice. I thought he was
    below average; it was subpar. It wasn’t VERY disappointing, but
    was disappointing.

    Amateur magician talent show… who approved of that?

    Interaction with audience… you gotta have standup comedian
    experience to pull that off. A guy who mainly delivers lines from
    playwrights/screenwriters shouldn’t improv with the audience.

  6. Peter

    He was disappointing to me. I thought he would be better. He’s a pro so there no major goofups, or strange moments like when Anne Hathaway and James Franco hosted, but he was just really boring. The whole show was boring. Not terrible, just not good. The jokes were bad, the whole thing was just blaise. Also, I thought coming out on stage in his underwear was just ridiculous and embarrassing. I had high hopes for Harris but he fell short. In recent years, I thought Chris Rock was very good, and they should let him do it a few years in a row. Changing hosts all the time is a problem, it doesn’t allow anyone to grow into the job, and get better at it.

  7. Clemery

    I can’t vote because my choice of “He did the best he could with the terrible jokes he was given” isn’t an option.

    And honestly, what was so bad about the opening number? I thought the song paid great tribute to movies old and new, and was fully in the spirit of great Oscar opening numbers from the past. Preferred it to Hugh Jackman’s offering, as an example.

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