A couple nights ago we all said goodbye to what has been a Monday night staple for almost a decade now in How I Met Your Mother. For those of you that never watched, it’s on about five different networks almost all the time these days, so please feel free to jump in and get caught up. Seriously, it’s almost as omnipresent as The Big Bang Theory these days. It
won’t take you long.  For those that didn’t enjoy the show…wait, what am I saying? There are none of those…provided of course you came in somewhere during the first five seasons, when it was top notch. Even if you didn’t join until seasons 6-7, it was still pretty good. 

I think we can all agree the 8th, and (especially) 9th, seasons never happened.

All this being said, and despite the gradual decline that has been in effect for four years now, I for one will be sad to see the series go. Yes, the hokey premise of stretching one wedding weekend into an ENTIRE FINAL SEASON was a little ridiculous, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t watch it. By a random bit of luck I happened to be home and catch the pilot w/ mama alll those years ago, and if for nothing more than nostalgia’s sake, I was going to see it through.

Now that the final episode is in the books, let’s offer up a few posthumous awards…

MVP — Neil Patrick Harris

The show creators could not have possibly realized they were trotting out a veritable Murderer’s Row when they assembled this cast. At the time, only Alyson Hannigan had much on her resume, from both Buffy and the American Pie movies. NPH and Jason Segel had both acted on shows as kids (Doogie and Geeks and Freaks, respectively), but weren’t household names, and Cobie Smulders and Josh Radnor were both virtual unknowns.

As a group, it worked. Big time. Each of the actors had their clear roles to play, and play well, but none of them did so as well as NPH. Barney was such a unique character in every way, from his speech patterns to his manner of dress, that NPH stole more or less every episode at one point or another. (There’s a reason he started showing up EVERYWHERE just after the show took off) Could the show have existed w/o him? Sure, but it wouldn’t have gone nine seasons and it would have been a lot less fun. In an ensemble cast this good, that’s pretty much the barometer for picking an MVP.

Glue-Guy Award — Jason Segel

Segel’s Minnesota everyman Marshall Erickson was the calming steady influence to…well…pretty much everybody else in the cast. Armed w/ wholesomeness and naivety from his years in the Midwest, he had an outlook on life that was equal parts voice-of-reason and kid-on-Christmas-morning glee, doled out w/ just the right amount of aplomb.  

Biggest Breakout –Cobie Smulders

While NPH and Segel could also equally take this award, NPH already had Doogie and the Harold and Kumar movies and Segel was in w/ the famed Apatow group. Smulders came out of NOWHERE and as of last count is in pretty much in everything coming out in the next year or two, even somehow landing a role in Marvel comic universe and all of their associated spin-offs. 

(As someone that is a fan of tall ladies and gorgeous eyes…I am needless to say thrilled w/ this development and wish her nothing but the best.)

Steadiest Performer –Alyson Hannigan

Unlike the other principal cast members, Hannigan was never written to have any enormous overbearing quirks or features that would consume her character. Instead, she was used to be whatever was needed from season to season, whether it be doling out advice or providing the stable-relationship dichotomy for the other characters and all of their crazy conquests. Still,  Hannigan did them all, and did them well, even reminding us once again in the finale that there is no better actress at crying-on-command in all of Hollywood. (her poor husband…you just know she abuses the hell out of that ability)

Most Underutilized– Josh Radnor

Can anybody name another show where the presumable lead –he was the narrator and first billed actor in the credits — was the fourth, if not fifth, most likeable/popular/well-written character? The entire arc of the show as a whole can pretty much be tied directly to the storyline of Radnor’s Ted Mosby, as he goes from bright eyed optimist w/ some serious comedic chops in the first 4-5 seasons and descends into a whiner that became annoying in season 5-6, and stumbled his way to insufferable by the end. As a just-north-of-30 male myself, I can PROMISE you that no guy spends that much time railing on and on
about finding The One, destiny, fate, etc. 
Best Guest Star — William Zabka

W/ apologies to Sarah Chalke, Bryan Cranston, Maury Povich, Kyle MacLachlan, and Jorge Garcia, the nod here goes to Zabka, just about the only redeeming part of season 9. His turn as himself, a poetry-writing guy that hates being hated was comedic gold, perfectly summed up in this brief exchange:
“That’s not even my move. I’d sweep the leg, get him a body bag. Everybody knows that.”
“Is that from one of your poems?”
“Thank you for that.”

Best Running Gag — Slapsgiving

W/ all due respect to Brover, The Goat, Robin Sparkles, “You Sonuvabeeetch,” the slutty pumpkin, and a host of others, this one easily tops the list…and there is no close second. The slap bet between Marshall and Barney stretched all nine seasons, including the riotous “Slap of a Thousand Exploding Suns” episode and even the final one moments before Barney’s

These final two categories have too many to name a single one, so I’ll simply list out some of the best, and say thank you to all for nine (mostly) enjoyable years…even if yall did kinda bungle the finale. (And I know I missed several of both…there were over 200 episodes for crying out loud)

Best Quotes — 

I come from a culture of hockey players and if a guy can throwdown, it's somewhat way hot…and scars? Hello! If a guy's got a scar, he's got a Robin and if he's missing his teeth, I'm missing my pants! ~ Robin

How do you keep a girl from becoming your girlfriend? Simple: The rules for girls are the same as Gremlins. Rule number one: Never get them wet. In other words, don’t let her take a shower in your place. Rule number two: Keep them away from sunlight—i.e., don’t ever see them during the day. And rule number three: Never feed them after midnight. Meaning she doesn’t sleep over, and you don’t have breakfast with her, ever. ~ Barney

It's gonna be legend-… wait for it… and I hope you're not lactose intolerant because the second half of that word is DAIRY!  ~

On Monday I’m going to have to tell my kindergarten class, who I tell not to run with scissors, how my fiancé ran me through with a freakin’ broadsword! ~ Lily

I love a scotch old enough to order its own scotch. ~ Robin

Think of me like Yoda, but instead of being little and green I wear suits and I'm awesome. I'm your bro-I'm Broda! ~ Barney

Challenge accepted! ~ Barney

Lawyered. ~ Marshall

I never knew I could love something this much. That's why, I'm creating a holiday. From now on, today will be known as “Not A Father's Day”! ~ Barney

Seriously. Jesus started the whole “wait three days” thing. He waited THREE days to come back to life. It was perfect! If he had only waited ONE day, a lot of people wouldn't have even heard that he died. They'd be all, “Hey Jesus, what
up?” and Jesus would probably be like, “What up? I DIED yesterday!” and then they'd be all, “Uhh, you look pretty alive to me, dude…” and then Jesus would have to explain how he was resurrected, and how it was a miracle, and then the
dude would be like “Uh okayy, whatever you say, bro…” And he's not gonna come back on a SATURDAY. Everybody's busy, doing chores, workin' the loom, trimmin' the beard, NO. He waited the exact right number of days, THREE. Plus it's  SUNDAY, so everyone's in church already, they're all in there “Oh no, Jesus is DEAD”, then BAM! He bursts through the back door, runs up the aisle, everyone's totally psyched, and FYI, that's when he invented the high five. Three days. We
wait three days to call a woman, because that's how long Jesus wants us to wait…. True story. ~ Barney

Best Episodes 

The Naked Man
Come on!
The Final Page
Slap of a Thousand Exploding Suns
The Pineapple Incident
Game Night
 he Bracket

Right Place Right Time


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