“I don’t know that my family nor my soul could take it,” he said with a laugh. “It’s a beast. It was fun to check off the list, but for the amount of time spent and the understandable opinionated response, I don’t know that it’s a delightful balance to do every year or even again.”
The “How I Met Your Mother” star says that every laugh was planned meticulously for the show, despite criticism that the show seemed too improvised and featured unnecessary racially-themed jokes. The jests ranged from Harris’ kick-off joke, “Today, we honor the best and whitest. Sorry, brightest” to Sean Penn later questioning how “Birdman” director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu got his green card.
“It’s so difficult for one who’s simply watching the show to realize just how much time and concession and compromise and explanation has gone into almost every single thing,” Harris said. “And I’m not saying that to defend everything I said as if it was the absolute best choice, but it’s also an award show, and you’re powering through 14 acts filled with 20 plus awards. So, my job was to try and keep things as light and specific to this year’s set of films as possible. And if people are critical of that, it’s a big giant platform, so I would assume that they would be.”
Still, the 87th Annual Academy Awards show saw a 16% decline in viewership, the lowest rating for total viewer count in six years. Last year, Ellen DeGeneres hosted the Oscars, which was the third time in five years the telecast had more than 40 million viewers, according to Nielsen.
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Other criticisms of the show stem from those who were snubbed, including the absence of recognition for Ava DuVernay’s “Selma,” which took home one award for Original Song, and Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood,” which took home one award for Patricia Arquette’s supporting actress role.
But Harris said the Dolby Theater audience appeared to be enjoying themselves. He was warned prior to the ceremony that the room would get less enthusiastic as winners were awarded.
Oddly enough, it was last week’s viral sensation #TheDress that brought Harris the most relief since the Feb. 22 telecast.
“It was a nice reprieve from all the Oscar bereavement, so I was thrilled that it exists.”