No matter how long ago it happened, if you did something dodgy, the internet will eventually drag it up. Neil Patrick Harris found this out the hard way recently, when a terrible party joke he made at Amy Winehouse’s expense resurfaced online. 

The beloved English singer died from alcohol poisoning on July 23rd, 2011, aged just 27. Just a few months later, the How I Met Your Mother actor and his husband David Burtka threw a Halloween party that, for some inexplicable reason, featured a buffet platter designed to look like Winehouse’s corpse. The gory depiction came complete with Winehouse’s beehive hairstyle and tattoos. Truly gruesome stuff.

It was another beloved sitcom actor, Modern Family‘s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who was at NPH’s party and shared the incriminating picture of the platter to Twitter at the time. “Look who showed up @ActuallyNPH & @GourmetMD’s Halloween party last night. Looking good,” he wrote in the quickly-deleted tweet.

Perhaps because it occurred before all of us were Really Online – Twitter was only about five years old at the time – NPH’s shocking creation didn’t truly go viral until 11 years later in 2022.

As a result, NPH has reached out to Entertainment Weekly to offer an apology for what happened. “A photo recently resurfaced from a Halloween-themed party my husband and I hosted 11 years ago,” Harris told the publication in a statement. “It was regrettable then, and it remains regrettable now. Amy Winehouse was a once-in-a-generation talent, and I’m sorry for any hurt this image caused.”

He certainly got the “once-in-a-generation talent” part right: Winehouse had one of the greatest, stop-you-in-your-tracks voices of all time, with the accolades and critical adulation to match. Who knows how far she could have gone in her career if she hadn’t passed away so young.

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