Thursday, January 29, 2009

How I Met Ted... And Barney, Robin, Lily and Marshall Too

(Photo: Mathew Imaging/

The cast, creators, director and producers of "How I Met Your Mother" gathered Tuesday night at the TV Academy to talk about the show, share anecdotes and reveal a few secrets to an overflow audience of fans. And I got to be the moderator.

Pic by Danielle Turchiano.

It was nerve-wracking at first -- I've gone to plenty of these kind of events, and the moderator frequently blows -- but I did my homework, asking a mix of questions about how the show is produced and constructed (it was a TV Academy event after all, and craft questions are welcome) as well as questions about characters, plot lines and little things that uberfans obsess about on the web.

Pic by Danielle Turchiano.

The cast -- in particular, Neil Patrick Harris -- were lively and played along, even though this is probably about the 20th panel discussion they've participated in for the show. (Alyson Hannigan was probably the least chatty, but to be fair, she's several months pregnant and was a little uncomfortable that night. She was super friendly back stage.)

Pic by Danielle Turchiano.

You may have already read about the best moment of the night: Near the end of the panel dicussion, Neil Patrick Harris jumped up, said he needed to pee -- and dashed off the stage. One problem: His mic was still on, and the entire crowd exploded in laughter as we heard him tell a stage hand he was heading to the bathroom. To be honest, I think Harris was well aware of what he was doing -- he's a pro, and knew it would get a big laugh. And indeed it did, and led to countless writeups on blogs and in papers.

Harris was also out there afterward, signing magazines and photos for fans. A real class act.

Pic by Danielle Turchiano.

But they were all great -- Cobie Smulders (Robin) answered several of my questions in depth, and always kept eye contact with me. Jason Segal (Marshall) doesn't seem that far removed from his Judd Apatow and "HIMYM" characters. Josh Radnor (Ted) appears to be the most introspective of the bunch. And Hannigan (Lily) also seemed nice and down to earth.

I've been busy -- and have been getting home late -- the past few nights, and haven't had a chance to recap the event myself. (And I couldn't exactly take notes while I was up there on stage.)

But thankfully, several other accounts have popped up on the Internet. Check out Danielle Turchiano's coverage of the panel.

The Hollywood Reporter also did a nice write up (well, except, ahem, they never mention the moderator -- wonder why!) here.

And TV Week has a decent recap here. Alas, again, no mention (ahem) of the kick-ass moderation!

And here's a YouTube clip from the evening; and yes, this video ends with me mentioning NPH's and Josh's "junk."

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