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the host with the most

Neil Patrick Harris was the fourth choice to host the Oscars

Given his well-received stints at the Tonys and the Emmys, you'd think Neil Patrick Harris would be a natural first choice for hosting the next Oscar ceremony. But according to a new report, Harris wasn't the top choice for the high-profile gig. Or the second. Or the third.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron "begged" last year's host, Ellen DeGeneres, to return for another round. When she declined, they reached out to Chris Rock, who last hosted the Oscars in 2005. When that didn't work out, they reached out to Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who also said no.

That left the fourth name on the list: Neil Patrick Harris, who had previously hinted that he might be up for the job. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Harris said that the offer to host the Oscars had suddenly come up "very randomly," just days before Variety formally broke the news.