Neil Patrick Harris.  Who would have predicted this?  The former child star of the silly, yet fondly remembered Doogie Howser, M.D. is a full-fledged comedy star, one of the most reliable performers on television.  Neil Patrick Harris re-emerged on television with his role as Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother, and has been the best part of that series since its inception.  Add to that extended cameos in the two Harold and Kumar films as himself, and NPH has carved himself a niche as a cult comedy icon.  As we approach the official announcement of the nominees for the 2008 Emmy Awards, Harris is once again in the mix for a Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.  He was nominated last year, and I expect him to be nominated again this year.  However, that is not enough.  He should win. 

The competition in the Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category is notoriously stiff.  Currently, it’s the most stacked category of all.  Here are the ten semi-finalists in the category:

Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Kevin Dillon, Entourage
Justin Kirk, Weeds
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
John Krasinski, The Office
Jack McBrayer, 30 Rock
Tracy Morgan, 30 Rock
Jeremy Piven, Entourage
Fred Willard, Back to You
Rainn Wilson, The Office

The only locks from this list for nomination are probably Jeremy Piven and Rainn Wilson.  Neil Patrick Harris is a safe bet.  The final two will likely come from these four: Jack McBrayer, Tracy Morgan, John Krasinski and Jon Cryer.   But, it’s the Emmys, so you never know. 

These are all very funny people.  There are a couple of actors who I would nominate that aren’t on the semi-final list, but I’ll discuss those in an upcoming podcast.  For now, let’s assume that Neil Patrick Harris’s biggest competition will be Wilson and Piven.  Rainn Wilson, out of anyone on TV, makes me laugh on the most consistent basis.  Jeremy Piven is the shining beacon of light on Entourage, and has single-handedly pulled that show out of mediocrity on numerous occasions.  But, he’s won this award before, and I think we can all agree that Entourage didn’t have the best of seasons.

Why, then, should Neil Patrick Harris win, even if I admit that Wilson produces more laughs?  Rainn Wilson is the beneficiary of better material.  He has an established character that he plays perfectly.  Dwight Schrute, as magnificent as he is, hasn’t evolved much as a character.  Barney Stinson, over the course of How I Met Your Mother’s third season, had a definite arch.  Barney is maturing.  Slowly, yes, but he is growing nonetheless.

And, it’s not like Dwight blows him out of the water in terms of hilarity.  It’s like comparing Mozart and Beethoven.  You can’t go wrong with either.  Neil Patrick Harris, in terms of pure acting, is simply more polished, more capable of subtlety and infusing his scenes with emotional depth even when producing high comedy.   He deserves a statue. 

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
Source: The Envelope
(Image Courtesy of CBS)


Oscar Dahl

Senior Writer, BuddyTV