The announcement that David Letterman would be retiring and stepping down from his post on The Late Show With David Letterman has propelled the rumor mill into a tizzy. Everyone even tangentially related to comedy and/or hosting and/or being a public figure has been named as a "Oh what if...?" in the creation a million hypothetical post-Letterman universes. One of those people has been Neil Patrick Harris. But it seems Harris isn't interested in being the next Letterman.
As one of the many rumored names, Harris makes sense: For one, he kind of looks like a younger version of David Letterman, so the fact that he'd pop to mind is pretty obvious. For another, though he's never had a talk show, he's an experienced awards show host, and he's showcased his comedy chops on nine years on How I Met Your Mother.
But Harris' response to the rumors? "It would be an asinine amount of work."
That's not exactly chock-full of enthusiasm, but, well, he's kind of right. You probably shouldn't take that kind of high-profile desk gig unless you're already accustomed to that kind of high profile guest gig — like, say, a Chelsea Handler or a Stephen Colbert are from years on their own shows. Not to mention, Harris just freed himself from nearly a decade on a network sitcom, and it seems he's enjoying being able to be on Broadway again.
I’m super focused on Hedwig [And the Angry Inch] at the moment, so that hasn’t even been a conversation at all. [...] But I’m a big fan of CBS and Les [Moonves]’s, so who knows.
After nearly a decade on How I Met Your Mother, it seems unlikely that Harris, as a performer, would want to saddle himself with another long-haul gig, especially one with even fewer hiatuses than the now-dead sitcom. And while we've no doubt he'd be great in the job, we expect audiences want to see him able to stretch his legs, too.