Neil Patrick Harris promises surprises at Tonys

Neil Patrick Harris on "CBS This Morning."
Neil Patrick Harris on "CBS This Morning."

(CBS News) Two-time Emmy winner Neil Patrick Harris is back for his third turn as host of the Tony Awards. And he's promising some big surprises for Broadway's biggest night.

Complete Coverage: The 66th annual Tony Awards
Pictures: Tony nominees 2012
Pictures: Neil Patrick Harris

"I like water cooler moments," he said on "CBS This Morning." "I like to add little things in (the show) where you kind of need to watch, or maybe you'll have to pause and TiVo back and freeze frame and go, 'Did something -- is that happening?' I like the little weird, strange moments."

But this isn't the first time Harris has prepared surprise performances. At last year's awards, Harris and former Tonys host Hugh Jackman made a splash with their dueling Broadway medley duet, in which they squared off in song and dance over their hosting skills.

Harris said of that performance, "We rehearsed it in secret studios. So, that was fun. We have a couple of those kinds of things this year."

But Harris isn't the only draw in this year's show. The performances themselves, which he says are of a higher caliber than most shows, is a reason to tune in. "Most award shows, the entertainment that's in it is usually put together just for that one night, so everyone's fingers are crossed, and it usually doesn't go very well," he said. "These performances are well-crafted. They do them every night, and they're spectacular. You're getting see 12 performances that are going to be slam-dunks."

Harris said his job as host and co-producer of the show is to encourage people to watch. "It's a bit of an infomercial for Broadway. But they need that," he said. "Broadway people are under-appreciated. A lot of people don't know who some of these people are who work ridiculously hard show after show after show for a year. It's a good opportunity for me to be able to honor them in a good way. ... I'm really passionate about it."

You can see Harris host the 66th Annual Tony Awards on Sunday at 8/7c on CBS. Also, watch Harris in "How I Met Your Mother" on Mondays at 8/7c.

For more with Neil Patrick Harris, watch the video in the player above.