Neil Patrick Harris followed a time-honored tradition at Consumer Electronics Show: adding a bit of Hollywood sizzle to the annual nerd-fest in Las Vegas.
“It’s like a weird TED Talk,” Harris joked as he took the stage alongside childhood friend Cody Willard, a former hedge-fund manager and television news anchor and commentator.
A bunch of other celebrities and the near-famous will put in appearances throughout the show that runs through Friday — from Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, Olympic champion Usain Bolt and The Walking Dead‘s Norman Reedus to North American Scrabble champion Will Anderson.
Harris attempted to find a bit of humor in the low-key stage appearance. When Willard remarked that the two men share the unusual distinction of being the only two from their kindergarten class of 22 from Ruidoso, NM, to have appeared on The Tonight Show — though Harris noted it was with Johnny Carson “because I’m old.” Pause. “Johnny Carson was this guy who had a show…”
The actor playfully poked at Willard for dropping the word “bifurcated” into conversation, admitted that, in texting, he insists on using proper grammar and punctuation, and said he never permits himself to use social media for extended rants (unlike certain occupants of the White House) because “I don’t want to upset swaths of people with my opinions.”
Harris credited Felicia Day, his co-star in the musical comedy Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, for introducing him to Twitter: “I didn’t even understand it,” he deadpanned. “I joined up because she told me to.”
The conversation did awkwardly swing in the direction of a product plug — with Willard prodding Harris to talk about IAm Neil Patrick Harris app, which aggregates his social media feed and videos and clips from his TV shows, appearances and hosting gigs.
Willard pitched the IAm App platform as an entertainment solution for driverless cars whose human occupants will now need to be diverted on their commutes.
“Ford! Mercedes! Reach out to us! We want to talk with you about your entertainment strategy,” Willard said, looking into the conference room.
Harris offered a alternative programming: “Porn, porn, porn.”