Neil Patrick Harris fails to impress as Oscars host

Host Neil Patrick Harris hosts the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on Feb 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. -- PHOTO: AFP
Host Neil Patrick Harris hosts the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on Feb 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. -- PHOTO: AFP
Host Neil Patrick Harris (left) interacts with actor David Oyelowo during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on Feb 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. -- PHOTO: AFP
Host Neil Patrick Harris (left) interacts with actor David Oyelowo during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on Feb 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. -- PHOTO: AFP
Host Neil Patrick Harris opens his locked envelope onstage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on Feb 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. -- PHOTO: AFP
Host Neil Patrick Harris opens his locked envelope onstage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on Feb 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. -- PHOTO: AFP
Host Neil Patrick Harris performs onstage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on Feb 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. -- PHOTO: AFP
Host Neil Patrick Harris performs onstage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on Feb 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. -- PHOTO: AFP
Host Neil Patrick Harris stands in his underwear onstage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on Feb 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. -- PHOTO: AFP
Host Neil Patrick Harris stands in his underwear onstage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on Feb 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. -- PHOTO: AFP
Host Neil Patrick Harris performs onstage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on Feb 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. -- PHOTO: AFP
Host Neil Patrick Harris performs onstage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on Feb 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. -- PHOTO: AFP

All the glitz, glamour and star power of the Oscars could not save this year's awards show from taking a beating in the ratings.

The predictability of the winners plus the relative lack of mass-appeal movies among those nominated probably contributed to the viewership numbers but it seems audiences and critics are also slamming this year's host.

Although Neil Patrick Harris has been highly praised for his presenting skills at both the Tony Awards and the Emmys, the funny-man couldn't seem to hit the mark at this year's Academy Awards.

He gained quite a few laughs walking on stage in his underwear, but Harris' other jibes and puns received lukewarm reactions.

Many disapproved of him joking about producer Dana Perry's dress immediately after she had dedicated her award for Best Documentary Short Subject to her son who had committed suicide.

Critics have called him out for being awkward and cringe-worthy, noting the times when the audience simply did not react to his one-liners.

The actor himself took to Twitter on Tuesday, after reviews bombed his performance, to comment on the show, saying "My iphone shattered the morning of the Oscars. I probably should have read more into that. #harbinger"

Viewers also took to Twitter to air their views on the matter and while some applauded the comedian's efforts, many agreed with the critics that Harris choked.

Here are some positive and negative reactions to Harris' hosting of the 2015 Academy Awards.

David Oyelowo's reaction to one of Harris' jokes has been turned into a gif that basically sums up everyone's reaction to the Oscars.

Harris, wanting to test if things really sounded better when said in a British accent, got Oyelowo to participate in a gag. The Oscars host set up the joke saying, "This year, we said goodbye to some beloved movie franchises," and let the Selma star deliver the punchline, "We saw the last ever Hobbit movie, the last ever Night at the Museum movie, and the last-ever attempt to remake Annie."

After some awkward laughter, Oyelowo didn't need words to express what he thought of the joke.

melheng@sph.com.sg