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Neil Patrick Harris saves Broadway -- kinda

January 11, 2009 | 12:01 pm

Did you catch Neil Patrick Harris on "Saturday Night Live" last night?

In a clever skit about efforts to save Broadway, Harris portrays Mark from the hit musical "Rent." If he looked perfectly at home in the sweater, scarf, specs and head mike, that's because he starred as Mark in "Rent" at the La Jolla Playhouse in 1997 and in a separate production at the Ahmanson Theatre that same year. The "SNL" skit references a slew of well-known shows (on and off-Broadway) — from "Cats" to "Wicked" — and even throws in a joke about Culture Monster's favorite Broadway dropout, Jeremy Piven.

Most people probably recognize Harris from his television roles in CBS' current Monday night sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" and, long before, "Doogie Howser, M.D.," or from his hilarious film turn in "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle." But theater fans have savored his work on Broadway in such musicals as 2004's "Assassins" and "Chicago." Closer to home, in addition to "Rent," he appeared in 2006"s "All My Sons" at the Geffen Playhouse, and as Tobias in a semi-staged concert version of "Sweeney Todd" (also in New York) as well as other roles. The actor remains committed to Los Angeles theater and has served multiple times as host of L.A. Stage Alliance's Ovation Awards.

Want more? Check out Harris in the video on "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog." Fun stuff. (The video follows on the jump.)

--Lisa Fung