-Additional reporting by Tara Aquino (@t_akino)
Neil Patrick Harris divided viewers tonight as host of the 87th annual Academy Awards. The usually charismatic entertainer wavered between being hilariously funny and awkwardly inappropriate.
Harris opened the show with a musical number alongside Anna Kendrick that took shots at everything from the whiteness of Hollywood to the inherently anxiety-ridden and egotistical nature of the entertainment industry. Other highlights included his Birdman parody, in which he ran around the Dolby theater in his underwear before baring his half-naked body on stage.
Another joke that got the crowd going was his dig at John Travolta, saying, “Benedict Cumberbatch: it’s the sound you get when you ask John Travolta to pronounce Ben Affleck.” Moreover, upon congratulating the documentarians behind the award-winning film Citizenfour, Harris cracked, “Edward Snowden couldn’t be here tonight for some treason.”
However, some jokes bombed completely. One memorable fail came after the co-winner for the Best Documentary Short (“Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1,” made with Ellen Goosenberg Kent) Dana Perry mentioned her son’s suicide in her acceptance speech. Harris took a shot at Perry’s her pom-pom dress, saying, “It takes a lot of balls to wear a dress like that.”
Another fail came when NPH trotted around the room joking with seat-fillers, which felt more like he was trying to kill time (and maybe, slowly, us all). Additionally, his long-running gag with Octavia Spencer, in which he asked the Oscar winner to watch his briefcase of show predictions, dragged on for apparently no reason at all. Other than that, a bunch of unmemorable #dadjokes filled the silence between presenters and musical performances.
And now, for the public’s reactions.
While some folks came out to show love for NPH’s hosting:
My pal @ActuallyNPH is fantastic as usual. There’s nothing this man can’t do brilliantly.
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) February 23, 2015
Well I can die now that Oprah has seen the outline of Neil Patrick Harris’s scrotum.
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) February 23, 2015
Others weren’t shy to completely trash him:
— EarthBoundMisfit (@Erthbndmsfit) February 23, 2015
Neil Patrick Harris is a bad host lol so bland
— JAK (@_JesseKennedy_) February 23, 2015
Neil patrick harris go away — riona (@rionaok) February 23, 2015
Hahahah This… 👉 “@ovie52009: Neil Patrick Harris should be banned for life from the Oscars”
— Glory (@geeloreyz) February 23, 2015
Neil Patrick Harris saying “bitches be trippin’ yo” as a punchline goes over like a fart in a car. #WhiteOscars
— Michael A. Brodeur (@MBrodeur) February 23, 2015
What did you think of NPH’s hosting performance? Let us know in the comments below.