5 Best Neil Patrick Harris Roles
When Neil Patrick Harris first hung up his scrubs and doctor coat at the end of his hit show, Doogie Howser M.D., audiences weren’t sure if they would ever see him again. Child actors tend to fade away after their shows end. For a while, that looked to be the case. But NPH came back in massive style thanks to his role as the womanizing Barney Stinson in CBS’ hit sitcom, How I Met Your Mother.
Harris portrayed that role for 9 years and audiences fell in love with him faster than a college girl with daddy issues. Not one to rest on his laurels, Harris has also enjoyed a phenomenal run on Broadway, performing in shows like Rent, Company and more. Most recently, Harris can be found hosting a myriad of game shows, haunting children as Count Olaf in the Netflix show A Series of Unfortunate Events. Most importantly to Harris is spending time with his husband David and their two adorable children.
Despite playing kind of a jerk in many of his roles, Neil Patrick Harris is actually one of the nicest guys in Hollywood. He’s also one of the most talented. Dude can act, sing, direct and more. He’s even magician! Like, a real one. There is nothing NPH cannot do and we want to highlight the 5 Best Neil Patrick Harris Roles.
5) Doogie Howser- Doogie Howser, M.D. (1989-1993)
Let’s start with one of Harris’ first major roles, that of child doctor Doogie Howser. Doogie Howser, M.D. told the story of the country’s youngest surgeon, a teenager named Doogie. Would you ever let a doctor named Doogie operate on you? Regardless of his age? We wouldn’t either, but fictional characters sure did, because this show lasted 4 years and, for a long time, was the role most associated with NPH. Doogie Howser was a fun, sometimes silly/sometimes serious show that tackled life issues previously unheard of on television. And at the end of each episode, Doogie would wrap everything up in a nice bow and write about in his computer journal.
4) Himself – Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle…or A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas
Some might argue that it was NPH’s cameo in the Stoner Buddy film Harold and Kumar go to White Castle that got him the job with How I Met Your Mother. It’s a hard opinion to dispute because Harris absolutely killed it in this film. Playing a fictionalized version of himself, Neil Patrick Harris enters the lives of Harold and Kumar and changes them forever. In A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas however, NPH steals the entire show. After coming out in real life as gay, this film decided to make it all an act – a ploy NPH uses to seduce women. And for a while, it worked. But daddy got greedy. And then he got kicked in the face. It was the best scene in an otherwise unfunny movie.
3) Count Olaf – A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017-2019)
Anyone who follows Neil on social media knows that he loves playing…eccentric characters. None may be more eccentric than Count Olaf, the main antagonist in the Netflix series A Series of Unfortunate Events. Olaf is the uncle of two siblings whose parents recently died. The brother and sister are sent to live with him and he gleefully takes them in, all because he wants to steal their inheritance. A Series of Unfortunate Events is a show for kids, but adults can get a lot of entertainment from it too, solely based on Harris’ performance.
2) Dr. Horrible – Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (2008)
What do you get when you combine Joss Whedon’s writing, Neil Patrick Harris’ acting and Nathan Fillion’s rugged good looks? You get Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, a web series in 3 acts, written and directed by Whedon. Dr. Horrible follows a mad scientist as he attempts to take over the world, as well as the heart of a girl named Penny (played by Felicia Day). The only person standing in his way is Captain Hammer, a douchey super hero played by Nathan Fillion. Despite his attempts at world domination, Dr. Horrible is actually the protagonist of this series and audiences are firmly on his side. Especially when he sings. You kind of can’t help but sing along.
1) Barney Stinson – How I Met Your Mother (2005-2014)
Barney is the one who should have ended up with Robin. Despite the CBS sitcom being about architect Ted Mosby’s journey to find a wife, it is Barney who is the real main character (and he’s Marshall’s best friend, too).
Barney Stinson was the role that NPH was born to play. Barney is a womanizing, manipulative-yet-good-hearted bachelor who loves a cigar and a nice scotch. Throughout the series’ 9 seasons, audiences go on a journey with Barney, which takes him from the loved-to-be-hated bachelor to a guy who has really grown into a man capable of loving someone besides himself. How I Met Your Mother re-launched the career of Neil Patrick Harris and it left audiences asking “Doogie Who-ser?” His performance was absolutely Legen-
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