How I Met Neil Patrick Harris’ Replacement…

From The San Francisco Chronicle

February 3, 2010
By Beth Spotswood


My dear friend and editor of SFist, Brock Kealing and I share a birthday. As it was our birthday weekend, we spent a ton of time together in the past few days, running the gamut from throwing ourselves a little soiree to investigating the recent disappearances at Point Reye,Saturday night, however, we decided to check out Celebrity Autobiography at Cobb’s Comedy Club. Part of San Francisco’s 9th Annual Sketchfest, Celebrity Autobiography involves comedians, many of whom are pretty famous themselves, reading from the cheesy, tawdry, poorly written autobiographies of stars.

We’d originally wanted to go after finding out the event would be hosted by talented gay icon, Neil Patrick Harris. However, due to mysterious circumstances left unexplained, NPH suddenly had to leave the country, so in his place, we’d be seeing Jason Segel. This was fine with us. Sure, we’d prefer Doogie Howser to some goofy stoner, but Jason Segel is pretty adorable. And it’s always fun to see a movie star, as far as I’m concerned. I freeze in awe at the sight of anyone possessing a SAG card.

Performing along with Mr. Segel were Laraine Newman, Rachel Dratch, Fred Willard, Maria Bamford, Steve Schirripa, Dayle Reyfel and Eugene Pack. Not bad, right? Brock and I were excited as we cabbed it over to Cobb’s and delighted that his friends would be there as well. They’d saved us great seats and we all agreed we were particularly looking forward to Fred Willard. As Brock and one of his friends caught up, I turned to the other, asking the unoriginal, “So, what do you do.”

Lately, this question has actually served me well. And ever since I spent an hour at a cocktail party talking to a doctor who reattaches limbs after horrible accidents, the “what do you do” bar has been raised significantly.

As it turns out, he is a librarian in town. And it didn’t take long for me to pry the gross and gory stories from my new friend the Librarian. Fist fights, porn, poo? Yep, you can find it all at your local library. “That makes sense.” I admitted. “If I were an insane person with nothing to do all day and not a penny to my name, the library would be on the top of my list!”

The show started and right away, the whole thing was fantastic. There, right in front of us, was Saturday Night Live star Rachel Dratch reading from Joan Lunden’s, “Good Morning I’m Joan Lunden” and Fred Willard deadpanning a marvelous Mr. T. My favorite selection came from a Loni Anderson/Burt Reynolds piece, with Rachel Dratch actually reading from a former assistant’s tell-all, “Burt and Me: My Days and Nights with Burt Reynolds.”

Everyone was terrific, amazing, hilariously brilliant.

Everyone except Jason Segel.

Was he drunk? Maybe high? Beats me. But whatever it was, it made him annoying, taking everything a little too far, dragging everything a little too long. He kept breaking character and getting the giggles. And as exciting as it still was to see movie and television star Jason Segel, I couldn’t help but think, “Doogie Howser wouldn’t pull this crap.”

Someone pointed out that the other performers seemed to be getting ticked off, rolling their eyes and trying to move the show along. “You know, he DID just sleep with Lindsay Lohan,” Brock offered as a possible excuse.

Nonetheless, the whole concept of Celebrity Autobiography is fantastic. In fact, I now insist upon having all literature read aloud by the incomparable Fred Willard. And whoever this Steve Schirrapa is, he’s hilarious, reading from Star Jones’ masterpiece, “You Have to Stand for Something, or You’ll Fall for Anything.” Even Jason Segel and his big bong of bulls–t was fun to watch, if for no other reason than he knows Neil Patrick Harris.

As we walked out, Brock and I strolled right past Rachel Dratch, standing by the door like a perfectly normal person.

“You were great!” We whispered, basically to ourselves.

“Thanks for not being drunk.”

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