By Colleen Jurkiewicz Reporter Published Aug 22, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Everybody hopes that their favorite celebrities are as cool in person as they are on the screen. Most people find out that’s not the case. But Milwaukee’s own Marcus Monroe is here to tell you that Neil Patrick Harris is good people. If you don’t believe him, watch the video (warning to the faint of heart: language not censored!)

Monroe and Harris gave a hilarious performance at this year's Outside Lands Arts and Music Festival in San Francisco. Posing as an estranged former juggling duo, the two gave a performance that kept the audience in stitches. And of course, the video found its way to YouTube.

"He's a great guy," said Monroe. "We had a lot of fun together."

So how does a humble juggler from Shorewood end up sharing the stage with the famous NPH?

Monroe moved to New York City at the age of 19; his father Rick is the administrator of the Nicolet School District. Monroe attended three years of college in NYC before deciding to "put school on hold…for life" to pursue his true passion: juggling. 

"Even through high school and middle school I was performing," he said. "I was into magic but then I got into juggling and I stopped doing magic. Well, some people say I should stop doing juggling, but I don't listen to them." (He's kidding.)

But don’t worry  - his dad’s totally cool with it. 

"My family’s super-supportive," Monroe said. "Because they see what I do and see that I make people happy and I’m happy doing it. 

Monroe still calls New York home but has taken his act on the road – and on the high seas, performing his comedy-based variety show for sold-out audiences on cruise ships, at colleges and even on "The Late Show with David Letterman."

He caught the attention of Lucie Arnaz (yes, that Lucie Arnaz) during one of his cruise ship gigs; they started talking after the show and she eventually signed on as his producer. 

Enter Neil Patrick Harris. 

"I needed a director for a show and I really wanted someone I liked. We were shooting names back and forth and I said, ‘What about Neil Patrick Harris?’ And Lucie was like, ‘I don’t really know him.’ But I was like, ‘Everyone knows you! If Lucie Arnaz calls you’re gonna pick up the phone, you know?’ But she said I should try to see how far I could get on my own – I don’t like to ask her for big favors." 

So Monroe took matters into his own hands. 

"I saw Neil was co-hosting 'Regis and Kelly' and I knew where he would enter there early in the morning, so I wrote up this letter and my girlfriend proofread it," he said. Armed with the letter and a DVD of his show, Monroe waited for Harris outside the "Live with Kelly" studios last winter. "He was like, ‘Wow, that’s cool, I don’t have much time right now,’ but I told him to read the letter and watch the DVD." 

Monroe employed the support of mutual friend Todd Robbins to coax Harris into accepting the gig. "Like three weeks later I’m on a cruise ship and I get an email from Neil Patrick Harris saying, ‘What up, homes? I heard from Lucie, heard from Todd, read your letter, watched your DVD. Well played. And I was like, ‘Sweet!" 

The two emailed for a few months but couldn’t find a time that worked for Harris, who was busy being a new dad, hosting the Tonys and working twelve-hour days on the set of "How I Met Your Mother." 

But the stars aligned at this month’s San Francisco’s Outside Lands Music and Art Festival, when Monroe and Harris were booked in the comedy tent on the same night. They decided to do a skit together.

"He’s so awesome," said Monroe of Harris. "I hope I get to work with him again in the future. I can’t speak highly enough of him." 

Monroe is currently training with World Juggling Champion Doug Sayers and will open his own Arnaz-produced off-broadway show entitled "Marcus Monroe: What What."

 "It’s a one-man show, 90 minutes of me and there’s a lot of juggling but it’s mostly a comedy show and juggling is just the vehicle for that comedy," he said. "I’ve already done it a couple of times in New York and it’s sold out every show. We’ve gotten a great response from the audience." 

Monroe performed at Summerfest this year and hopes to bring his show back home to Milwaukee sometime soon ("East side for life!").

But for those of you who can’t wait, buy his DVD, "The Complete Second Season" on

Trust me - you've never seen juggling quite like this before.

Colleen Jurkiewicz Reporter

Colleen Jurkiewicz is a Milwaukee native with a degree in English from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and she loves having a job where she learns something new about the Cream City every day. Her previous incarnations have included stints as a waitress, a barista, a writing tutor, a medical transcriptionist, a freelance journalist, and now this lovely gig at the best online magazine in Milwaukee.