After taking four years off from hosting the Emmys to host, well, everything else, Neil Patrick Harris's 2013 Emmy Awards return was a borderline let down. The man can usually do no wrong when it comes to getting us excited to watch the rich and famous receive gold statues, but his 65th Primetime Emmys lead-in was a slight disappoint. But that's maybe because we set the bar so high? Hard to tell. The opening, which featured a video starring Harris attempting to watch an entire year's worth of TV, gave us a glimpse at our favorite stars on our favorite shows: There was Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad; there was Alec Baldwin in 30 Rock; and there was Lena Dunham in Girls... in a bathtub. But the pre-taped video, bathtub and all, fell a little flat.
We were kind of wondering how his performance tonight would compare to the hilarious 2011 Emmys opener, the one where the biggest nominees visited The Office, and now, woo-hoo, we have our answer. Neil Patrick Harris, if nothing else, is an excellent closer.
After the pre-taped video, Harris took to the stage where he was "hilariously" interrupted by past hosts who were pissed that Harris got the job instead of them. Jimmy Kimmel, Jane Lynch, Jimmy Fallon, and Conan O'Brien tried their best to impart unsolicited hosting advice, but no one was really laughing.
Until Kevin Spacey showed up.
When Spacey, who stars as the evil genius Frank Underwood on Netflix' House of Cards, turned around in his seat to deliver a scathing monologue about how none of those "buffoons" is fit to "host a child's birthday," it just felt so, so .... right. Because he was right.
Why wasn't Harris nailing the opening monologue?! Hosting is supposed to be his thing!
But, when all was said and done, Harris knew where to turn to find the laughs.
Proving once again that he's the best host around, he had Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in his back pocket, like the goddamn professional that he is, and he threw it to them to close out his opening performance.
When the camera panned to Amy and Tina sitting front row, wearing 3-D glasses and eating popcorn, all was forgiven. "Take your pants off and twerk it!" was their solution to Harris' hosting problem, and it made all the awkwardness melt away. They were laughing at him, we were laughing with them, and things finally seemed to settle in.
If Amy and Tina end up hosting the Golden Globes (they're talking about it tonight!), Harris should definitely be a part of it. We'd be so degrateful if he was.