The ‘How I Met Your Mother’ star cracked a one-liner about Dana Perry’s outfit, after she won the Oscar for Best Short Subject Documentary, which she dedicated to her son, who she lost to suicide in 2005.
Neil Patrick Harris
Taking to the stage with her producing partner Ellen Goosenberg Kent, to accept their award for the short film ‘Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1’, Dana told the audience: "I want to dedicate this to my son, Evan Perry, we lost him to suicide. We should talk about suicide out loud. This is for him. Thank you!"
As he returned to the stage, rather than acknowledging the emotional speech, the host mocked her outfit, which featured furry bobbles, saying. "It takes a lot of balls to wear a dress like that."
Dana Perry (left) and Ellen Goosenberg Kent
But while many viewers thought the gag was in bad taste, Dana didn’t seem to mind one bit.
When told about the joke backstage, she said: "Well, that is adorable; and I invite anyone to feel my furry balls."
Speaking about her outfit, Dana added: "I went shopping in my mother in law's attic. She had great style. She's not with us anymore, but she had great style in the '60s and '70s, and this is one of her excellent signature pieces.
"And I just love to wear it, because I can make ridiculous dirty jokes about it, and it also keeps me warm. You know, I just got the gown to sort of support the balls, you know what I mean? So I can make the jokes if I want."
It’s been a mixed bag on the review front for Neil Patrick Harris’s first stab at hosting the Oscars.
New York’s Daily News described it as ‘self-indulgent’, Time said he ‘seemed, befuddlingly, stymied by the exigencies of hosting’ and the BBC declared him to be ‘one of the most forgettable [hosts] for years’.
Variety were kinder, saying he ‘brought an infectious personality to the proceedings’ and he got the thumbs up from last year’s Oscars host too, with Ellen DeGeneres tweeting: “What a night. Congratulations @ActuallyNPH on doing a wonderful job. Not to mention those tighty whiteys.#Oscars2015”.