Neil Patrick Harris turned down 'Late Show' job, fearing boredom

Neil Patrick Harris would rather have a variety show than take over late night.
Neil Patrick Harris would rather have a variety show than take over late night.Zach Cordner / AP

Stephen Colbert will take over hosting duties at "Late Show" once David Letterman exits sometime in 2015, but at least one other funny guy was considered for the gig: Neil Patrick Harris. But as Harris told Howard Stern on his SiriusXM radio show Wednesday, he declined because he was worried he'd get bored.

"I think I would get bored of the repetition fast, and the structure of it is so set that I don't have any interest in doing monologue, commercial, sketch, guest, guest, musical act, goodnight," said Harris, who noted that CBS execs Leslie Moonves and Nina Tassler had called him in and pitched the idea over sushi.

"In that instance I felt like I knew what my skill sets were and I kind of knew what it is that I wanted to do after ("How I Met Your Mother") with (Moonves)," he continued. "So I was surprised that he pitched me that idea, and I sort of — I sat for a minute with it ... and told him the things that concerned me about the longevity in that kind of gig."

Harris' show "How I Met Your Mother" ended in March after a nine-season run.

The actor, who is currently performing on Broadway in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," said he does have an idea of what he'd like to do next, though: a weekly variety show. 

"I think if it is weekly and people really want to see it and you trust that there's a lot of really great (expletive) on there, then you are going to get the guests to want to come on," he said. "You'd have more time to prep for stuff, you could do pre-taped stuff that would be really exciting, you could flesh it out a bit more."

Stern suggested Harris might be a great replacement for the also-exiting Craig Ferguson on "The Late Late Show." But that got a thumbs-down.

"It's still nightly; you're still coming out with the same content," said Harris. "And now you're just getting bitter that no one's watching."

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