In 2015, the prime-time variety show is a tough act. Many celebs have tried; many have failed. (Sorry, Maya Rudolph. I still love you!) But, if there's anyone equipped to pull off a new variety show, it's Neil Patrick Harris. His life basically is one, big variety show, since he's hosted basically every awards show known to man. But, sadly, the variety game isn't won or lost based on the charisma of the host alone. If that were the case, he'd have it in the bag. Instead, the guests bring a lot to it. So, when NBC premieres Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris , which celeb guests will stop by?
First off, most of the people on Best Time Ever aren't going to be celebrity guests; there are going to be plenty of performances, skits, and bits that involve currently un-famous performers and regular people. So, don't expect a parade of magicians from the Magic Castle doing close-up magic on NPH's famous friends, because that's not really what the show's about (for the most part). Still, there will be some big names stopping by. Who? That's harder to nail down: It seems like Harris wants the surprise to be part of the fun. Still, I was able to ferret out a few. Here's a look at who we can expect this season.
1. Nicole Scherzinger
According to the Variety, the former Pussycat Doll is going to be more than a celebrity guest — and NPH refers to her as his "sidekick" on the show, so expect to see her on multiple episodes. They may seem like an odd match, but it seems like it'll work because they both have Vegas-style showmanship in their blood. Plus, Scherzinger's been a judge on shows like The X Factor and The Sing-Off, so she knows her way around TV based on live performances. But, my guess is that they probably won't do a duet of "Dontcha." Although that would be amazing.
2. Reese Witherspoon
Reese is making the rounds. It's been announced that she's got a guest spot on The Muppets, where she'll be in the spotlight with another consummate entertainment professional: Miss Piggy. And, in addition, she'll be the first guest announcer for Best Time Ever . It's not like she's promoting anything, either — Hot Pursuit is long out of theaters, she doesn't have anything coming up in the immediate future, and she's not on some big Oscar campaign. It seems like she's doing these shows because — gasp! — they look like fun.
3. Ricky Martin
With '90s nostalgia in full force, who could be a better random celebrity cameo? Accordng to Entertainment Weekly, "Martin will participate in a game in which he will sing his hit 'Livin’ La Vida Loca' and then viewers at home — who don’t realize that they are televised — will be asked on the spot to finish the line when Martin suddenly stops singing." How can those people not know that they're on TV? They just thought the NPH stopped by with a microphone for fun? In any case, I'd lose the "Livin La Vida Loca" lyric challenge if it gets beyond "upside, inside out," so good luck to those poor folks at home.
4. Other TV Stars
Random home viewers aren't the only ones who are going to get hoodwinked on Best Time Ever. According to the Star-Telegram, the show will also feature "Candid Camera-style prank pieces [with] such celebrities as Cobie Smulders, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Jane Krakowski." Basically, if you're on or have ever been on TV, watch your back: Harris is coming for you.
5. His Lead-In
To me, the strangest thing about Best Time Ever is, well, what "time" that the Best Time Ever takes place. I picture fun, celeb-bothering variety shows as taking place early in the evening, so families can enjoy them together, but Best Time Ever doesn't start until 10 p.m. ET Either the show is a lot raunchier and more violent than I'm expecting, or NBC just wants to put it on after The Voice — a ratings juggernaut — so it'll have a big lead-in. Well, Harris is apparently not one to shy away from biting the hand that feeds; he definitely has Blake Shelton and Adam Levine in his crosshairs for one of his celebrity pranks, according to People.
6. And, His Very Own Mini-Me
You may not have heard of Nathaniel Motulsky, aka Little NPH, yet, but he's a celeb in the making. “We have a 7-year-old version of me,” Harris told the New York Daily News. “I will send him into the field to accomplish tasks to see if he can gain wisdom. They are grooming him to take over my gig when I retire in 27 years.” To that lucky 7-year-old kid: Suit up, this show is gonna be a wild, guest-filled ride.
Image: Virginia Sherwood, Tyler Golden, Chris Haston/NBC; Giphy (4)