Neil Patrick Harris said he probably felt more comfortable in high heels than most of his Man of the Year predecessors.
Taking a break from rehearsing his role as a transgender singer in the upcoming Broadway musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” the 2014 Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ Man of the Year accepted the Pudding Pot on Friday night and became the first openly gay man to receive the award.
Tomi J. Adeyemi ’15 and Alexander N. Muresanu ’15, producers of the Theatricals’ 166th production “Victorian Secrets,” roasted Harris with jokes about his roles in various television series and films, including “Doogie Howser, M.D.,” “Starship Troopers,” and “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore.”
“Well, that was fun,” Harris said as he took the stage after the roast.
Then, parodying Harris’ CBS comedy “How I Met Your Mother,” a Bob Saget character, voiced by Larkin P.D. McCann ’15, narrated Harris’ quest to attain the Pudding Pot. Before receiving his prize, Harris had to complete a series of tasks, such as feeding baby food to his castmate Jason Segel, played by Reed S. Silverman ’15. A self-proclaimed lover of magic, Harris also had to employ a wand to fight off a dementor—a haunted creature from the “Harry Potter” series—and sing a rendition of the famous “Rent” ballad “Seasons of Love,” which had been rewritten to pose the question, “Why does the whole wide world love Neil Patrick Harris?”
Presented with a wig, heels, and a bra after he completed the challenges, Harris told his hosts to “bring it on.” He finally accepted his award and planted a kiss on each of the presenters. Harris called his Pudding hosts “lovely and caring” and thanked them for “an unbelievable day.”
At a press conference after the roast, Harris spoke about receiving advice from 2012 Man of the Year honoree and co-star Jason Segel and discussed the upcoming series finale of “How I Met Your Mother,” saying his “fingers are crossed” that his character will tie the knot by the end of the show.
The celebrated host of both the Tony and Emmy Awards also called this year’s Academy Awards host Ellen DeGeneres “the ultimate host.”
“I’m rooting for Ellen,” he said. “I hope she does a great job.”
The opening performance of “Victorian Secrets” followed the Man of the Year ceremony.
—Staff writer Nikki D. Erlick can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @nikkierlick.
—Staff writer Brianna D. MacGregor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @bdmacgregor.