Neil Patrick Harris Was Considered For Late Show Gig, Wants Possible Variety Show

Neil Patrick Harris attends an event on March 20, 2013
Neil Patrick was up for the Late Show hosting gig. Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

From New York, the greatest city in the world, it's The Late Show with… Neil Patrick Harris?

The How I Met Your Mother alum, 40, confessed this week that he was originally up for the late-night talk show hosting gig, but took his name out of the mix. It was announced last month that Comedy Central personality Stephen Colbert will succeed longtime host David Letterman beginning next year. 

"They called me in and sat me down and asked if that would be something I’d be interested in doing," Harris told Howard Stern about the CBS late-night talk show. He spoke with Stern on his radio show on Wednesday, May 14. "I have a good relationship with CBS from How I Met Your Mother." 

Harris said it felt "very good" to be approached by CBS big shot Les Moonves, but knew the role wasn't a good fit for him. 

"In that instance, I felt like I knew what my skill sets were and I kind of knew what it is that I wanted to do after [How I Met Your Mother] with [Moonves], so I was surprised he pitched me that idea," Harris explained. "I told him the things that concerned me about the longevity of that kind of gig, that I think I would get bored of the repetition, fast, and that the structure of it is so set, that I don’t have any interest in doing monologue, commercial, sketch, guest, guest, musical act, goodnight."

While the Late Show opportunity was not Harris' dream, he does have a new role that he is hoping for.

"I like this weekly variety show," he said. "A weekly thing, you’d have more time to prep for stuff, you could do pre-taped stuff that would be really exciting, you could flesh it out a little bit more, have more acts and not just do nightly."

So could a weekly variety show be in the works for Harris? While Moonves hasn't commented on the possibility, Harris said CBS "still might be" interested. 

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