It appears that CBS thought the same thing and approached him about the job; however, Harris told Howard Stern on Wednesday that he declined the offer because he was worried he would get bored of the same format every night.
“They [Les Moonves and Nina Tassler] called me in and asked if that would be something I would be interested in doing, because I have a good relationship with CBS from How I Met Your Mother,” said the Emmy-winning actor, revealing that he was asked over sushi in Moonves’ office.
“In that instance I felt like I knew what my skill sets were and I had an idea what I wanted to do after the show [HIMYM] with him,” Harris went on to explain. “I was surprised that he pitched me that idea, and I sort of sat for a minute with it and told him the things that concerned me about the longevity of that kind of gig.
“I think I would get bored of the repetition fast and the structure of it is so set that I don’t have any interest in doing monologue or commercial — sketch, sketch, guest, musical act,” revealed Harris. The actor is receiving high praise — and a Tony nomination for lead actor in a musical — for his starring role on Broadway’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Instead of taking over from Letterman when he retires in 2015 after 20 years — his shoes will now be filled by Stephen Colbert — Harris suggested launching a weekly TV show.
“I like a weekly variety show, I think if it is weekly and you have some really great shit on there, then you are going to get the guests to want to come. You have more time to prep for stuff, you can do pretaped, and have more time to flesh it out then with nightly,” he explained during his Howard Stern Show interview.
When asked if Moonves was interested in that idea, “He still might be…,” he replied cautiously.
Stern suggested that the How I Met Your Mother star also would be a good replacement for Craig Ferguson‘s Late Late Show, but Harris balked at the idea.
“It’s still nightly, you’re still coming out with the same content,” he said. “And now you’re just getting bitter that no one is watching.”
Listen to an excerpt from Harris’ interview with Stern below: