Neil Patrick Harris was approached by CBS to take over for Letterman

Before Stephen Colbert was selected as the eventual replacement for David Letterman in CBS’ 11:35 pm ET time slot, executives approached How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris about the gig, he revealed Wednesday on The Howard Stern Show.

“They called me in and sat me down, and asked if that would be something that I would be interested in doing,” Harris told Howard, “because I have a good relationship with CBS from How I Met Your Mother.”

Harris recalled a sushi meeting with Les Moonves, when he was presented the idea of taking over for either Letterman, or Craig Ferguson in the 12:35 am ET slot.

“In that instance, I felt like I knew what my skill sets were, and I kinda knew what it is that I wanted to do after the show with [Moonves and CBS], so I was surprised that he pitched me that idea,” Harris said. “I sat for a minute with it while I was talking to him, and I told him the things that concerned me about the longevity of that kind of gig – that I think I would get bored of the repetition fast, and that the structure is so set, that I don’t have any interest in doing monologue, commercial, sketch, guest, guest, musical act, g’night.”

Harris countered with the idea of a variety show – an idea that, according to the man formerly known as Barney Stinson, is still alive.

“I would love to be Ed Sullivan some day,” Harris said, “and just introduce amazing cool act after amazing cool act.”

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