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Neil Patrick Harris, Spider-man, Chris Rock: Best of the Tonys (Video)

Neil Patrick Harris, Spider-man, Chris Rock: Best of the Tonys (Video)

Neil Patrick Harris hosted the Tony Awards last night, and managed to liven up a show that is usually the snooziest around. His opening song enticing mainstream audiences to Broadway had the chorus “It’s not just for gays anymore,” which counts as pretty clever self-mockery by Tony standards.

As a host, here and at the Emmys, Harris has a knack for gently mocking the night’s subjects without becoming caustic about them; that makes him a little too cautious for my taste, but also makes him the perfect compromise candidate for producers who want a real show without the Ricky Gervais edginess.

Take a look at Harris’ very funny opening number.

Here’s a clip of Harris telling as many Spider-man jokes as he can in 30 seconds. He knows most of them are obvious, but he also manages to turn War Horse (winner of Best Play) into a Godfather reference. (Spider-man wasn’t eligible for this year’s awards because it’s months-delayed official opening won’t happen until tomorrow night; check back then for my review).

Chris Rock had the funniest and most irreverent moment when he presented the award for Best Musical to – as he points out, no suprise – the great Book of Mormon. Here’s Rock, and Trey Parker’s acceptance speech.

You can find the full list of nominees and winners at the official Tony site.

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