TV Article

I, Spidey

Doogie does ''Spiderman'' -- Neil Patrick Harris talks about his former role as a geeky white guy, his new show on MTV, and nipple paint

Neil Patrick Harris | SUPERFREAK Harris lends his voice to MTV's animated series ''Spider-Man''
Image credit: Neil Patrick Harris: David Stoltz/Celebrity Pictures L.A.
SUPERFREAK Harris lends his voice to MTV's animated series ''Spider-Man''

He used to save lives as the freakishly genius, underage doc on ''Doogie Howser, M.D.'' Now he's saving lives again -- but this time, the boy's a superfreak: Neil Patrick Harris, 30, voices Peter Parker and his web-shooting alter ego in MTV's animated series ''Spider-Man.'' Let's see if Harris is once bitten, twice shy when confronted by our terrifying Q&A.

Would you describe your Spidey sense as a tingle or more of a burning sensation?
My Spidey sense is more of a chafing sensation. But that usually is a good sign.

How did Tobey Maguire thank you for allowing him to play Spider-Man on the big screen while you did the MTV version?
I gladly take Tobey's sloppy seconds wherever I can get them.... I'll probably do the animated ''Seabiscuit'' sequel.

Did you ever secretly type silly stuff on Doogie's keyboard like ''I scored a 1600 on the SAT, and all I got was this crappy-ass computer!''?
Unfortunately, no matter what button you pushed, it typed the right thing on the screen. But what's fun to watch -- and it might even be a nice drinking game in the future -- is in every episode, without fail, I would type something, pause, look up at about 3 o'clock, think, realize, smile, and type the rest of it. It happened every single show, 97 times. I implore you to notice and appreciate: type, pause, look, think, acknowledge, finish typing.

Would you give aspiring Doogies three tips for nailing the Geeky White Guy?
Dance arrhythmically. Watch a lot of Discovery Channel. And sleep facedown in a panful of bleach.

As the Emcee in ''Cabaret,'' you had to stick red glitter things on your nipples...
No, it was glittered nipple paint. The idea was that they were then tweaked and pinched and played with so much that they were red.

Got it. Was removing the paint more painful than seeing the reviews for ''Stark Raving Mad''?
Nothing was more painful than the reviews. Removing the nipple paint was painful -- and I liked it.

What's in your wallet?
There's my Costco card, 24 Hour Fitness card, MetroCard, I have a Subway card...

You're in the Sub Club?
I beg for double stamps. Didn't there used to be Double Stamp Tuesday? What's with them all of the sudden only giving one stamp for a six-inch? That troubles me.

Originally posted Aug 15, 2003 Published in issue #723 Aug 15, 2003 Order article reprints