Why Neil Patrick Harris Is The Coolest Guy Ever (Reason #3,874)

If you don’t like reading, just scroll down and watch the video. But I promise, it’ll be better if you know the story.


May 2010. My girlfriend’s 30th birthday is coming up on a Saturday. We make plans to spend the whole day together, and everything is set…

And then, our shooting schedule changes, and I get word that I’ll be working that Saturday. The location I’ve helped prep for a month is up, it’ll easily be a 16 hour shift, and we have no choice but to cancel our birthday plans. My girlfriend is, as you’d expect, pretty disappointed.

Saturday arrives, and morning filming goes fine. As we get closer to lunch, I sneak away to a room I’d found with an internet connection to do some work on my laptop. I thought no one else knew about it…

And then, all of a sudden, Neil Patrick Harris, one of the actors in the film, walks in. He’s with another guy about his age. A PA sets up chairs for them, and it quickly became apparent that production is claiming this room for him to hang out in between takes.

I’m all set to get the boot, but the room is pretty big, and no one seems to notice me, so I stay put. Neil and the other man are just chatting. Then Neil gets called back to set, and I’m alone with his friend.

And suddenly, I get a crazy idea. Both my girlfriend and I are big Neil Patrick Harris fans (who isn’t?)…Can the power of NPH save what will otherwise be a miserable birthday??

So I go up to Neil’s friend, and, in what must have sounded like one enormous, breathless, run on sentence, said something along the lines of:


For a second, Neil’s friend looks confused as he mentally translates my stammerings into coherent speech – but then his face brightens. “Oh, sure! No problem, let’s ask him when he gets back in. I’m sure he’ll do it.”

Holy crap! I mumble a thank you and quickly check my iPhone battery. 10% warning?!? Damn you, Steve Jobs! I plug it in, praying I get enough of a charge for a voice recording.

About ten minutes later, Neil returns from set. I wait a few moments for him to get settled, then go back over.

“Oh, hey Neil, this is Nick!” Neil’s friend says as he sees me approach. “Nick had something he wanted to ask.”

Neil looks at me. Deep breath. Take it easy. Don’t be all star struck.

“Hi-Sorry-To-Bother-You-But-My-Name’s-Nick-And-It’s-My-Birthday-Today -”

Oh…fuck. Did I just say it’s MY birthday?

“Wait – I thought you said it was your girlfriend’s birthday,” says Neil’s friend, confused.

Oh Jesus. Now I look like some weird deranged stalker. Yes, Neil, it’s my birthday! Record me a message while I watch!

Luckily, I manage to slow it down and get the explanation out without sounding completely nuts. “Sorry, yes, it’s my girlfriend Emily’s birthday. She just turned 30, but I got stuck working on set, so we had to cancel our big plans. And we love your work, and it’d mean the world to her if you recorded a little happy birthday message for her.”

“Oh, sure, no problem!” Neil says, and with that, he left this message.

Needless to say, it absolutely made my girlfriend’s birthday (and saved my ass!).

This all happened last May, but I was reminded of it a few weeks ago when Neil announced his engagement to long time boyfriend David Burtka – and I recognized  David from pictures as the guy who introduced me to Neil that day. As it turns out, Neil and David have actually been engaged for some time, but were waiting for gay marriage to be legalized in New York before making the announcement.

And as of yesterday, that dream became a reality as hundreds of same sex couples tied the knot across the state – 659 in New York City alone! Watching the first couple be married – two women, aged 77 and 85, who have been together for 23 years – moved me to tears. I’ve never been more proud of New York.

My girlfriend and I just wanted to thank Neil and David for making what would have been a miserable 30th birthday one we’ll never forget, and to wish them the best when they step up to the altar someday soon.


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  1. And THAT is a cool story.

  2. That’s awesome. Coming from the country that has founded NYC and was the first to legalize gay marriage: it’s great that those two finally come together.

    • Maybe it’s our Dutch origin that makes New York so different from the rest of the USA. We are, after all, Nieuw Amsterdam, and proud of it!

  3. What a fun story! I love the run-on words, classic nerves! lol Neil and David sound like great sports.

  4. Brilliant story and what a great memory for you and Emily! Great post Scout!

  5. Wooo! Congratulations to Phyllis & Connie; and to all the others who are now free to live their lives as they please!

    Oh, and Emily – you are one lucky girl!

  6. That is a FABULOUS story! Thanks for sharing it.

  7. Not a case of stalking. A polite request which Neil clearly enjoyed accommodating and handled with the class and grace which is his trademark. Also, Scout, as a long-time reader and fan, I think this is the PERFECT job for you!

  8. I completely disagree with Eddie. He’s clearly jealous and being ridiculous. I think it’d a super sweet thing you did for your girlfriend! Great article and awesome website!!

    • Hey Becky & Olivia – thanks for the defense! I deleted that guy’s comments because he was trolling. But what he completely missed is that before I EVER approached Neil, I FIRST asked the person who was with him. If the commenter truly works in film, he’d know that an actor is NEVER left alone on set, whether he’s with a friend, agent, assistant, PA, etc., and you always go to this person first with any request. It didn’t seem relevant to include it in the article, but I stressed to Neil’s boyfriend that if it was ANY inconvenience, to please tell me, and I wouldn’t be offended in the slightest. And he was like, “Oh, no, it’s totally OK!”

      Again, can’t stress enough, nicest two guys ever.

  9. We always watch Doogie reruns and adore Neil Patrick. As I’ve been “out of the loop” as to what’s going on lately, is he still in show business? Great to know he’s such a fine young man.

    • He’s the best thing on a sitcom called “How I Met Your Mother,” was the star of Joss Whedon’s webisodes “Dr Horrible’s Sing-along Blog,” and has hosted the Tony Awards to great acclaim.

      So, yeah, he’s doing OK.

  10. Good for you, Scout! NPH rocks!

  11. Nick, my first reaction was, “Dude that is too cool.” And it still is. Waay cool post. You sir are a prince among men and NPH is as much a gentleman as they come. Plus ya gotta love New York State with its classy move.

  12. I’m guessing that’s the Smurf’s movie, then. Part of me wants to see it because I love all the major actors. The rest of me is like “but it’s a Smurfs movie.” Now that I know you worked on it it’s another point in seeing it’s favor.

  13. Thank you for sharing this!
    I firmly believe that coincidence does not exist, it all happens for some reason. Your girlfriend sure had her best birthday of her life!

  14. Gotta LOVE cool celebs – they’re people too (sometimes).

  15. What a great story, Scout–congrats to you for making it happen and to Emily for the coolest birthday present ever.

    NPH is class from head to toe, and this is just further proof of that.

  16. Legen – wait for it – Dary! Love NPH!

  17. Been around a lot of celebs without issue. But when I had the chance to talk to Mike D, I garbled enough for him to say, “I want what this guy is on.” It’s ok, he’s real. You must like NPH him a lot being in the biz. The story is great. That’s two blog entries I really enjoyed after stumbling here this morning.

  18. I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I love NPH but did not know who he was a few years back until I was attending the Art Institute of Philadelphia. I was working a lame job at Goodburger on Chestnut in Philly. (Yep– there is really a Goodburger.)
    These guys from a movie set walk in and order. I see they have walkies with them, they looked important, so I had to ask what they were all about. Needless to say– they told me they were on set with NPH just right down the street filming “The Best and the Brightest.” Jokingly, one guy told me to come by later and he would show me around. I took it to heart and said to hell with it. I may as well try. I got to the lounge door and asked if I could see Mr. “So and so” (can’t remember his name). Surprisingly, they let me in and he showed me around the set. Even more surprisingly– they let me into the room with the director of the movie! I was standing next to a tall gentleman as NPH acted and shot a scene with the beautiful Bonnie Somerville. Here I am thinking, “NPH is the man. He gets all the beautiful women.” Come to find out– I was standing next to his boyfriend all the while! I was so happy to have been able to see how things were behind the camera and be part of it for even the few minutes I was. Your story reminded me of my experience. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  19. And that, kids, is how I met your mother.

    xD Neil is so awesome! And I could just imagine you saying those lines in Josh Radnor AND Bob Saget’s voices. Also, the gay marriage video was irrelevant 😛 But it’s okay. Congrats to Neil and David!