Neil Patrick Harris turned down Letterman gig

Neil Patrick Harris, left, turned down David Letterman's job because he was scared of getting bored. Photo/AP.
Neil Patrick Harris, left, turned down David Letterman's job because he was scared of getting bored. Photo/AP.

Neil Patrick Harris has revealed he turned down the chance to replace late night television host David Letterman when he retires next year because he was worried he would get "bored".

Harris confirmed the rumours that CBS had had approached him about the role in a recent radio interview with Howard Stern.

He said the network spoke to him before Letterman announced his retirement, and asked if he would consider hosting the late night show when the current host's contract was up in two years.

But Harris said he turned the offer down because he was afraid he would tire of doing the same thing every night. The role has since been filed by Stephen Colbert.

"They called me in and asked if that would be something I would be interested in doing, because I have a good relationship with CBS from How I Met Your Mother," the Emmy-winning actor said.

"In that instance I felt like I knew what my skill sets were and I had an idea what I wanted to do after the show [HIMYM].

"I was surprised that [CBS] pitched me that idea, and I sort of sat for a minute with it and told him the things that concerned me about the longevity of that kind of gig.

"I think I would get bored of the repetition fast, and the structure of it is so set that I don't have any interest in doing monologue, commercial, sketch, sketch, guest, musical act, goodnight," he said.

Instead of taking over from Letterman when he retires in 2015, Harris pitched the idea of a weekly TV show.

"I like a weekly variety show, I think if it is weekly and you have some really great s*** on there, then you are going to get the guests to want to come," he explained.

When asked if the network was interested in that idea, he said: "[They] still might be".

Stern then suggested Harris might make a good replacement for Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show, which screens an hour later than Letterman's in the States, but Harris also shot down that idea.

"It's still nightly, you're still coming out with the same content," he said. "And now you're just getting bitter that no one is watching."

Listen to an excerpt from Harris' interview with Stern below:

- nzherald.co.nz

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