Friday 23 February 2018

Oscars host clueless - or wonderful

Host Neil Patrick Harris on stage at the Oscars (AP)
Host Neil Patrick Harris on stage at the Oscars (AP)

The Twitter reaction to host Neil Patrick Harris was instant and - for the most part - brutal.

One viewer, tweeting as MikeSheaAP, said: "Neil Patrick Harris is hemmed in by bad jokes. He also acts like he has so many restrictions on him he's nervous on how to improv safely."

Journalist Tina Brown called him "smirking" and "clueless", while Empire magazine's Chris Hewitt said: "As star of How I Met Your Mother, Neil Patrick Harris has form with unfunny formats being stretched out beyond their natural finishing line."

Another viewer, ‏@SpindriftBeck, said: " There's still time to tack on 'Neil Patrick Harris's Career' to the end of this In Memoriam package."

But he had his defenders, with former chatshow star Larry King saying he was "a wonderful host".

His opening number - an affectionate song and dance tribute to the golden days of Hollywood - won him some friends, as did his appearance in his underwear - or his "tighty whities" - poking fun at a similar scene in Birdman.

Family Guy creator - and former Oscars host - Seth MacFarlane said he was " fantastic as usual", adding: "T here's nothing this man can't do brilliantly."

But, writing in USA Today, R obert Bianco said the show "too often pushed him past his abilities".

He said: " He's not a comedian capable of making something out of nothing, which is what the script too often gave him, or of getting audience members to save a joke for him in the way that Ellen DeGeneres could ."

Though DeGeneres herself was kinder, saying "What a night. Congratulations on doing a wonderful job. Not to mention those tighty whiteys."

Press Association

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