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Mayim Bialik recalls incident that upset Neil Patrick Harris: ‘We didn’t speak for a long time’

Bialik said she felt "terrible" about what happened.
Mayim Bialik told James Corden about her refusal to join a standing ovation for Neil Patrick Harris after he performed in the musical "Rent" in the 1990s.
Mayim Bialik told James Corden about her refusal to join a standing ovation for Neil Patrick Harris after he performed in the musical "Rent" in the 1990s.Jason Merritt / Robert Trachtenberg / Getty Images

Mayim Bialik says her friendship with Neil Patrick Harris was tested after she saw him perform in the musical "Rent" in the 1990s.

The former "Big Bang Theory" star and new "Jeopardy!" host opened up about the pair's tiff on Tuesday's episode of "The Late Late Show with James Corden."

"I have a very bad story about a musical," Bialik told host James Corden moments after revealing that she finds musical theater "ridiculous."

"I saw 'Rent.' I was friends with Neil Patrick Harris. This is a terrible story," she continued, laughing.

Bialik, 45, and Harris, 48, were close pals as teenagers with each guest-starring on the other's hit TV show. In 1990, Bialik appeared in a small part in Harris' medical drama “Doogie Howser, M.D," and the following year, Harris popped up on Bialik’s sitcom “Blossom.”

But that friendship got derailed — temporarily — because of "Rent." After Harris' performance in the hit musical, everybody in the theater — except for Bialik – leapt to their feet to give the future Tony winner a standing ovation.

"This is a long time ago ... it wasn't my thing," she explained. "But when your friend is in the play and then everybody's clapping at the end and you say to your boyfriend next to you, 'I don’t want to stand for this,' and then you look up and Neil Patrick Harris is looking right at you, it’s a bad day."

Neil Patrick Harris appeared as bratty child star Derek Slade in a guest-starring role on "Blossom" in 1991. NBC

Bialik added that Harris' performance was "fantastic."

"I mean, he's amazing but I just wasn’t into the, 'Let’s give a standing ovation.' It wasn’t my thing," she continued. "But that’s the time when you don’t say it out loud because Neil was reading my lips and when I went backstage to say hi to him — we were friends at the time — he said, I kid you not, 'Why did you say you weren’t going to stand up?' He read my lips!"

Bialik had no good answer for him. "It was terrible. It was bad," she recalled.

"We didn’t speak for a long time," she added. "He says that he forgave me and he sent me flowers when he heard that I’m still carrying this terrible (guilt). I mean, I felt terrible. It just wasn’t my thing."

On Wednesday night, Harris reacted to Bialik's appearance on "The Late Late Show," tweeting, "Mayim Bialik and I have been friends for over 30 years. Her aversion to musical theater isn’t going to change that."