Neil Patrick Harris is one tireless showman.
On his new variety series, Best Time Ever
, the 42-year-old entertainer sings, dances, performs
stunts, competes against celebrities, and finds unique ways to surprise
unsuspecting audience members each week.
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It’s a combination of what Harris does best as a go-to awards show
host, with a dash of Ellen DeGeneres’ casual candor with her audience of her
daytime talk show, all mixed with the unexpected danger of being live. And he’s
working hard to make sure fans are having a good time -- whether they’re
watching at home or in the studio at Kaufman Astoria Studios in New York City, where
the show is taped.
Based on the British variety series, Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway
, Harris' show is also not entirely
what U.S. fans are used to. And Harris admits there’s been a learning curve as viewers
get to know an assortment of new segments, including Sing-along Live, End of
Show Show, and Undercover.
“Each segment had to be explained initially and then
we can do a little less explaining as the weeks go on,” Harris says of the
first few episodes, adding that the in-studio audience has been “getting more
and more excited” as they become familiar with the format.
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So far, the two most popular segments have been the
celebrity-filled games, Voices in Your Head and Neil Versus. In the former,
Harris has recruited Britney Spears and his former How I Met Your Mother
co-star, Cobie Smulders, to playfully prank
unsuspecting victims. During Neil Versus, Harris has challenged his celebrity
guests to a variety of games, including scaling a mid-air, X Factor
-like obstacle course against a very nervous Reese
Witherspoon. “I did not know that this is what we were doing,” Witherspoon shouted at the host. “You are off the Christmas list.”