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Neil Patrick Harris on declining Letterman’s job: ‘I think I would get bored’

Actor Neil Patrick Harris attends the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Neil Patrick Harris is one busy man. When he is not playing Hedwig on Broadway, he is showing off his bare essentials for “Rolling Stone.” The “How I Met Your Mother” actor has been a wanted man, including being sought as a replacement for David Letterman as the host of “The Late Show.” Although Harris seemed to have been an ideal choice to replace the late night veteran, he revealed on Wednesday in an interview with Howard Stern why he wasn’t interested in replacing Letterman.

Stephen Colbert was eventually selected to take over as host of the CBS late night talk show, but before Colbert, Harris told Howard Stern in a recent broadcast that he met with CBS CEO Les Moonves to discuss the possibility of his next gig as being a replacement for Letterman.

Although it would be an opportunity that would be hard for most to turn down, Harris felt he wasn’t suited to be a talk show host. In an interview with “Rolling Stone” he touched upon the network’s interest in him. He said, “I was flattered that I was kind of being considered. How exciting to be considered for something like that.”

But it only took a minute for Harris to voice his concerns about the possibility. The 40-year-old actor revealed those concerns, saying “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 the structure of it is so set. I don’t have any interest in doing monologue, commercial, sketch, guest, guest, musical act, good night.”

Ironically, it is his ability to entertain a crowd and his ability to adjust on the fly that made him a consideration. From his hosting gigs at major awards shows to his Broadway role as German rock star Hedwig in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” Harris definitely seems very comfortable when it comes to live audiences. But just because he turned down “The Late Show” doesn’t mean he won’t be seen on CBS somewhere down the road. Harris said he pitched the idea of a weekly variety show, something that would give him more time to prepare for and gain audience interest.

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