“How I Met Your Mother’s” dramatic turn at the end of the Jan. 3 episode took a lot of fans by surprise. The two stars at the center of that gut-wrenching final scene, though, were happy that the show’s writers trusted them to pull it off.
“I was honored to be able to do last week’s episode,” Jason Segel says. The episode, “Bad News,” ended with Lily (Alyson Hannigan) telling Marshall (Segel) that his father had died. The show had played a misdirection game for much of the episode, focusing on Lily and Marshall’s efforts to conceive a child before ending on the dramatic note.
On Wednesday (Jan. 12), Segel and Hannigan took part in panels featuring the stars of comedies produced by 20th Century Fox TV, and they each talked a little about the storyline.
“They were very, very respectful about how we shot it, and I got it do it with Alyson. … I felt like it was a show of faith: ‘All right, let’s let these guys act a little bit, too,'” Segel says. “… I think they’re starting to mine all of us for what we’re good at. That’s a great feeling.”
Both he and Hannigan say that the heavy scene isn’t so out of the ordinary for “HIMYM,” and that the show allows them to play a range of emotions without feeling forced.
“The great part of our show is that you can have real moments and still find the funny in them, but also, you know, make you laugh and cry all in the same episode,” Hannigan says. “So we’re really lucky to do that for a half-hour show.”
Monday’s episode, in which the gang travels to Minnesota for the funeral, will likely feature more tearjerker moments; co-star Neil Patrick Harris, who was with Segel on the men’s comedy panel, says “Jason’s best work in that storyline is definitely yet to come.” Hannigan also says, though, that filming the episode was also “really fun.”
“Next week is the memorial service, which is a blast,” she says, drawing laughs from the audience. “We were all really sort of like, ‘How do you do the funeral and still make it funny?’ And they did.”
Here’s a preview of Monday’s “HIMYM.” It airs at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.