“Without you, I wouldn’t have an Emmy!,” admitted Neil Patrick Harris to Gold Derby Senior Editor Chris Beachum in a video chat as thanks for helping him to win the first Emmy Award of his career. “I deeply appreciate it, because I didn’t even know that was a possibility.”
Last year, Harris thought he was only a two-time Emmy nominee for his supporting role on “How I Met Your Mother” and guesting on “Glee.” The TV academy had neglected to list him as one of the nominees in the Tony Awards bid for Best Special Class Show. After the Emmys nixed the category for Individual Performance in a Variety Special, which often included hosts of award shows, emcees, such as Harris, were to be listed alongside the producers of such specials. Beachum caught the oversight and the academy added Harris to the nominees list. And when the Tonys prevailed, Harris gallantly gave a shout-out to “Boomer” in his acceptance speech at the Creative Arts Awards.
Harris had hosted that ceremony before and calls it “less showy and more authentic” than the glitzy primetime show. He said, “It was crazy! I didn’t think I’d win either one of them, frankly,” adding that he assumed Mike O’Malley (“Glee”) would take home the guest prize. Other nominees in that category were Will Arnett (“30 Rock”), Jon Hamm (“30 Rock”), Eli Wallach (“Nurse Jackie”), and Fred Willard (“Modern Family”).
Harris has been nominated four times for “HIMYM” but has yet to win for his role as womanizer Barney Stinson, having been defeated by Jeremy Piven (“Entourage,” 2007 & 2008), Jon Cryer (“Two and a Half Men,” 2009), and Eric Stonestreet (“Modern Family,” 2010). His past episode selections may not have showcased him to the Emmy judges but he admits to finding the process tricky. “I might overthink it,” said Harris. “Comedy choosings are so weird because you’re dealing with such crazy different styles. What I usually do is monologuing and lots of catchphrasing and kind of hyperfrenetic stuff. When you’re judging that against Chris Colfer‘s weepy breakdown on ‘Glee’ about the fact that his dad doesn’t love him, and those are up for the same award.”
He might have an easier time of it this year as his character reunites with his long-lost father (John Lithgow) on “Legendaddy” and then has another visit with him on “Hopeless.” Harris says he is leaning towards the first of those, since it has more emotional impact. Our experts and editors consider him a frontrunner to reap his fifth bid in the Supporting Comedy Actor race.