Neil Patrick Harris to host the Oscars telecast

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BY ANDREA MANDELL | GANNETT

Neil Patrick Harris, welcome to the big show. Harris will host this year’s Oscars on Feb. 22, 2015, USA Today confirmed today.

“It is truly an honor and a thrill to be asked to host this year’s Academy Awards. I grew up watching the Oscars and was always in such awe of some of the greats who hosted the show,” said Harris, in a statement. “To be asked to follow in the footsteps of Johnny Carson, Billy Crystal, Ellen DeGeneres, and everyone else who had the great fortune of hosting is a bucket list dream come true.”

Harris tweeted a clever 30-second video to express his gratitude:

This is the first time the star, currently appearing in “Gone Girl,” will host the show. He’s got plenty of experience: Harris has memorably hosted the Tony Awards four times and the Emmys twice, to great success. Variety was first to report the news, noting that Harris appears to be going for an “EGOT” sweep: After the Oscars, the only show he’s got left to conquer is the Grammys.

The actor is no slouch in the awards department, either. He’s won four Emmys and this year took home a Tony for the lead role in the musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”

Ellen DeGeneres hosted the last Oscars, but Variety reports she “was reluctant even then to do it, and didn’t want to do it for the 2015 ceremony.” Will Harris be able to top DeGeneres’ selfie that went ’round the world? The star-studded snap became the most retweeted photo of all time with 32.8 million views. —Gannett News Service

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