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Neil Patrick Harris is no stranger to hosting awards shows, or to comedy: He’s hosted the Tony Awards four times, the Emmys twice, and appeared in multiple comedies ranging from the long-running sitcom How I Met Your Mother to this year’s A Million Ways to Die in the West. And now he can add host of the 87th Academy Awards to his résumé.

Not all of Harris’ jokes landed—his description of Reese Witherspoon as someone “so lovely you could eat her up with a spoon,” one of many pun-tastic jokes, was particularly groan-worthy. But he did kick off the show with a comment both relevant and funny: “Tonight we honor Hollywood’s best and whitest,” he said, before correcting himself: “Sorry, brightest.” Here’s a list of the host’s strongest and weakest jokes, ranging from the aforementioned quip to that Witherspoon pun.


“Tonight we honor Hollywood’s best and whitest—sorry, brightest.”

“Welcome back to the Oscars, or as I like to think of them, the Dependent Spirit Awards.”

“You know, some of the movie titles this year confuse me—like How to Train Your Dragon 2. That title basically admits that the first movie did an insufficient job of teaching people how to train their dragons.”

After describing Jessica Chastain’s character hunting down Osama bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty: “And in A Million Ways to Die in the West, I pooped in a hat.”

“Benedict Cumberbatch is not only the most awesome name in show business, it’s also the sound you get when you ask John Travolta to pronounce ‘Ben Affleck.'”


“[The Best Picture nominees] have grossed over $600 million. American Sniper, alone, is responsible for over $300 million of that. So congratulations to them. To put that in perspective, everyone on this side of the theater [gestures to one side of theater] is the seven other nominees, and American Sniper is Oprah. [Pauses, looks at Oprah.] ‘Cause you’re rich.”

“This next presenter is so lovely you could eat her up with a spoon: Reese Witherspoon.”

“Everybody calls her Jenny from the Block. And everybody calls him Chris Pine.”

Introducing Channing Tatum: “He’s the real deal, pants down. I mean, hands down.”

“The subject of Citizenfour, Edward Snowden, could not be here tonight for some treason.”