When I spoke with NPH in July in Montreal, where he hosted four Just for Laughs galas, he described his new series not so much as a variety show but as “is like seven or eight different types of shows all happening simultaneously.” It’s live, from New York, with Reese Witherspoon scheduled to be the opening night guest announcer.
NBC, which has scored with seasonal musicals such as Peter Pan and The Sound of Music, seems like the right network to tackle this live beast. Should walls or sets fall over during the hour, Harris feels it will all be part of the fun.
When I spoke with him, the 42-year-old seemed genuinely jazzed about the project. “I’ve never been more legitimately excited about any type of show before,” he says. He hopes it enjoys the same level of success as the British show it is based on: Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. That high-energy series is chaotic and weird and very popular in Britain. Celebrities getting punked is very much part of the mix. You can check out clips on YouTube.
Nathaniel Motulsky plays pint-sized co-host “Little NPH” on the series. The lad does not have a bio up yet at NBC, which has kept a lid on opening night details. All Big NPH will says is that “it’s a cavalcade of madness.”