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Neil Patrick Harris preps for Oscars in Academy Originals video: Watch

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Bob D'Amico/ABC

It takes a lot to write a single joke for the Oscars telecast, Neil Patrick Harris explains in a new Academy Originals video. “It’s a shockingly long process of writing a single joke,” Harris says. “Because you have to say it. It doesn’t sound right, you change one verb or you change one parenthetical and see if it’s better with a bigger set up. All for a ‘I showed my weiner in Gone Girl‘ joke.” 

Harris will debut the material he’s been working on as Oscar host come Sunday—but for now, the video gives a brief behind-the-scenes look at Harris’ preparations for his gig. It contains nothing especially revealing, though. “We’re actually going to be using people in interesting ways,” Harris teases. “There is going to be a musical number at some point in the show. I’m a magician, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a hint of magic. I fear I’ve said too much.” 

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