Neil Patrick Harris Tweets Joke About His Criticized Oscars Hosting Performance

Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris speaks onstage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards Kevin Winter/Getty Images

At least he can laugh at himself! Neil Patrick Harris proved that he's a good sport on Twitter on Monday evening, Feb. 23, joking about the less-than-stellar reviews he received after hosting the 87th Annual Academy Awards the night before.

"My iPhone shattered the morning of the Oscars," the How I Met Your Mother alum, 41, tweeted. "I probably should have read more into that. #harbinger"

Harris seems to acknowledge that the awards show was not his best hosting performance. He received mixed to negative reviews from critics, strong criticism on social media, and ratings that reflected a less exciting show.

"It was bound to happen eventually. Neil Patrick Harris, the man who can host anything, finally stumbled," The Washington Post's Emily Yahr wrote in her review. "While Harris does a great job hosting the Emmy Awards, the Tony Awards and even the TV Land Awards, the Oscars proved to be too much of a monster for even NPH to tame. It wasn’t a James Franco situation — Harris really tried… The overall problem was that Harris as host was just okay."

"Sometimes… the organism that is the Oscars is bigger than the host, and Harris seemed to lose his grip on it, thanks largely to some badly written material," Time's James Poniewozik wrote of the star. "Harris is nothing if not game, but he often seemed disconnected from the limp material."

The New York Times' Alessandra Stanley called Harris' performance "bland," also commenting on the exhausting length of the show. 

The "bland" show also turned cringe-worthy at times, when Harris made some ill-timed jokes, particularly a treason jibe about Edward Snowden and one about producer Dana Perry. The Best Documentary Short winner spoke emotionally about her son's suicide in her acceptance speech, but the host chose to follow-up the poignant moment with an off-color fashion joke. Referencing Perry's bold outfit that was embellished with plush spheres, Harris said, "It takes a lot of balls to wear a dress like that."

Viewers were less inclined to tune in to Hollywood's biggest night this year, as broadcast ratings fell about 16 percent to 36.6 million viewers. Notably, the social clout of the show also nosedived, with Twitter interactions about the Oscars falling 47 percent from the figures of last year. 

Harris, who has seen great success in the past with his other awards show hosting gigs for the Emmys, Tonys, and other shows, voiced his concern before the Academy Awards about hosting such a high-profile event. 

"I've been in the hosting world for a little while and the Oscars has been that show that I was terrified to take on, but had never been asked to do," he said in an interview with Z100 this past October. "I'm reticent because I've always thought and said it's the big target and as exciting as it is it's potentially lose-lose in various ways because it’s just such a big show."

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