Neil Patrick Harris delivers as 2013 Tony Awards host

Host Neil Patrick Harris performs at the 67th annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 9, 2013, in New York. Getty

Four times a charm for Neil Patrick Harris? We think so.

The "How I Met Your Mother" actor and Broadway star promised a "pretty epic" Tony Awards show opener this year -- and he delivered.

Tipping his hat to last year's winning musical, Harris took the stage with a guitar dressed as the lead male in "Once" and joked, "I wouldn't be here if someone else hadn't passed on hosting. So special thanks to Shia LaBeouf for this opportunity," a reference to LaBeouf pulling of the Broadway show "Orphans." Harris, 39, then launched into colorful, non-stop energy-filled performance featuring casts from nearly a dozen musicals. There was even a guest appearance -- and brief dance -- by ex-boxer Mike Tyson, while Harris sang, "It's bigger! Tonight it's bigger." He told the audience they were in for a "truly legendary show." By the end of opening number, Harris appeared out of breath -- with good reason. He joked, "Well, that's our budget -- good night!"

Harris, looking comfortable throughout the evening, continued the entertainment and jokes, at one point calling out the 2012 big-screen adaptation of "Les Miserables." "Can I have my 'Tom Hooper "Les Miz" closeup' please?" he asked. "On Broadway, we don't need extreme close-ups to prove we're singing live. We sing live eight shows a week. Check it!"

A segment with Sandy, the dog from the musical "Annie," started out pretty "innocent" before turning into a full-on make-out session. Harris kissed the dog on the mouth -- tongue to tongue. "You do know I'm in a relationship, right?" he joked.

Harris, who got his start on TV's "Doogie Howser, M.D.," wrapped the night with one last performance, paying tribute to the night's winners -- all to the tune of "Empire State of Mind," alongside performer Audra McDonald.

In the days leading up to the Tonys, Harris told CBSNews.com that hosting the show doesn't necessarily get easier every year "because I'm constantly second-guessing and trying to one-up myself. I guess at the same time, when I would get super-insecure before, I would think it was the end of the world. Now I know that there's a light at the end of the tunnel and that everything will be OK."

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