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Neil Patrick Harris ready for 'Best Time Ever'

Actor shouts at audience member who yelled his name during theater performance

 

Neil Patrick Harris believes no one should be afraid to jump out of an airplane.

“It’s the anticipation of jumping that is terrifying,” he says. “Once you do it, it’s super awesome and super fun and you want to do it again!”

“That carries on from public speaking at award shows to coming out of the closet.”

So it’s not surprising that the four time Emmy winner and father of two says he is ready to face whatever challenges are thrown his way on tonight’s debut of his new NBC variety series.

“Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris” — broadcast live from New York City — is an hour-long mashup of high stakes games, celebrity pranks and audience participation skits that brings the actor one step closer to his dream of becoming the modern day P.T. Barnum.

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“The nice thing about the show is that it is all fed in bite size segments,” he tells Fox411. “It is going to be very gif-friendly and YouTube clip friendly.”  

Segments will include “Neil Vs.” where the host squares off in one-on-one competitions with audience members (think: human bowling) and "Singalong Live," which surprises home viewers with a chance to participate in the live broadcast and win prizes.

“I think this fits into my skill set pretty strongly right now because I have done all the live stuff,” says Harris, who has previously hosted the Academy Awards, Emmy Awards and Tony Awards.

“I enjoy the spontaneity of it. I enjoy the challenge of seeing how it goes.”

Harris, 42, reportedly turned down an offer from CBS to host his own late night talk show in 2014.  He worried the format would become to boring and predictable.

“I think TV right now, especially network television, finds itself sometimes in a bit of a rut,” he says.  

“The fact that our show is live is exciting. You will want to talk about it the next day and you will need to be watching because, well…you may be in it!”

The premiere episode will feature guest “sidekick” Nicole Scherzinger and child actor Nathaniel Motulsky as “Little NPH,” who will conduct celebrity interviews and appear in other pre-arranged segments.

“Best Time Ever” is adapted from the long-running British series “Saturday Night Takeaway.”

“We are not going out on a limb here to try to reinvent the wheel,” Harris says.  

“This is something I am surprised has not been done in the U.S. before. And I am kind of thrilled that for whatever reasons it has not been done before and I am now free to do it.”

“Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris” premieres Tuesday night on NBC.

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