How I Met Your Mother Exclusive: John Lithgow Is [Major Spoiler Alert]!

One of How I Met Your Mother‘s most enduring mysteries is about to be solved. No, not that mystery. The other one…

Barney’s father is… John Lithgow!

Sources confirm to me exclusively that the Dexter Emmy winner is nearing a deal to play Neil Patrick Harris’ onscreen dad, Jerome Whitaker, in one episode later this season.

Questions surrounding Barney’s MIA papa have dogged the legendary lothario during much of the show’s run. Red herrings he encountered on his quest included everyone from Bob Barker to Ben Vereen (a.k.a. his half-brother’s dad, Sam).

It’s not clear how or exactly when Barney will come face-to-face with his estranged dad, but it’s safe to say said reunion will be… wait for it… epic. What did you think I was going to say?!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. John Berggren says:

    The Trinity Killer fathered the LadyKiller.

  2. Ryan says:

    Oh c’mon seriously. This is epic FAIL!

    • Rock Golf says:

      Challenge accepted!

      This may be the first casting news ever that made me grin from ear to ear. Lithgow can play supercreepy to incredibly funny. Remember 3rd Rock? Not 30 Rock. Third Rock From the Sun.

    • John says:

      One of the best, most versatile actors of our time, from Broadway to sitcom, Arthur Miller to Dexter, is epic fail? There is nothing John Lithgow can’t do with excellence. Color me psyched!

  3. Joe T says:

    i dont think barney’s mom had a fling with bob barker, she just told barney that since he was on the tv and she wanted to change the subject.

    • cheri says:

      I was going to say the same thing…I remember the episode. She just pointed to the TV and said ‘him’ or something of that nature.

    • Jones19 says:

      It doesn’t say anywhere in the article that she had a fling with Bob Barker, just that he was a red herring.

  4. Lindy says:

    Bob Barker never had a fling with Ms. Stinson. She just picked him off of the TV because Barney wouldn’t stop asking…. come on Ausiello

  5. John Christopher says:

    Wow awesome! I love John Lithgow. But I think the term is ‘legendary’ not ‘epic’…..

  6. Kira J says:

    That’s a fun choice!

    Barney’s mom never had a fling with Bob Barker. She just said that it was him because The Price is Right was on and she needed a name, lol.

  7. Erica says:

    Ack! Trinity is Barney’s dad?

    But seriously, it’ll be neat to see Barney in the situation of finally meeting his father.

  8. Cari says:

    Can you people not read? The article doesn’t even say Barney’s mom had a fling with Bob Barker. Lithgow ftw!

  9. Jones19 says:

    Oooh I love John Lithgow! He’s hilarious. This is great casting right here.

  10. dee123 says:

    It’s been a while since 3rd Rock From The Sun, good to see.

  11. Dave says:

    Absolutely perfect casting. John Lithgow is as multi-talented as NPH and I really hope he can do more than just this seemingly one-off episode.

  12. Dave says:

    Great casting, no doubt. Nice to see Lithgow back in a lighter role again.

  13. Cait says:

    I do kind of love the idea of Ruth Fisher + Trinity Killer = Barney Stinson

  14. mikejonas says:

    I love Lithgow, but this could have been the opportunity to connect Barney to his true sitcom ancestor, and cast a different John: Larroquette.

    • Doug says:

      I always think of Lithgow from his movies, especially World According to Garp, Harry and the Hendersons, Cliffhanger, and Ricochet (yes Ricochet is fairly bad, but Denzel and Lithgow hamming it up is tough to turn away from). I always love seeing him in new stuff though.

      That being said, your Laroquette idea is brilliant and a missed opportunity.

  15. Steven says:

    AWESOME! He’ll always be Dick to me though!

  16. April says:

    I think he’s perfect. He plays self-aggrandizing and slightly obsessive very well. It’ll be hilarious to see them together.

  17. Dayln says:

    I don’t think I like this. Although I may be biased.
    He was so convincing on Dexter that I can no longer look at him without being TOTALLY creeped out!

  18. lauz says:

    i think its going to be legen…..wait for it…..dery

  19. Zturk says:

    Love Lithgow one of the best actors ever.He is seriosly funny.

  20. Dw. Dunphy says:

    1. Ausiello said Barney “thought” Bob Barker was his dad with the proviso it was a red herring. Cut the man some slack.

    2. Of course it had to be John Lithgow. Yes, his turn as the Trinity Killer has caused memory loss in the readership, and how could it not? That was an incredible performance. But he also spent how many years on 3rd Rock from the Sun?

    The only real question is whether the How I Met Your Mother producers have the stuff to keep him around for more than just one episode.

  21. toast says:

    While I was still hoping for Bob Barker to be the actual father, I don’t mind John Lithgow. It’s kind of funny and Lithgow has shown that he can really play a mean SOB when he wants. I just hope he winds up being an older, more-exaggerated version of Barney.

  22. toast says:

    What would be funny is if the actor JOHN LITHGOW was Barney’s father.

  23. davej says:

    Nice, but I don’t care. Get to the freaking mother already.

  24. Josh says:

    Legend… wait for it… ary!! :)

  25. Jenny says:


  26. tanya says:

    This was unexpected & I think its great that the show is really looking at relationships with fathers this season … I do wonder how this will affect Barney & if this could lead him & Robin 2gether?

  27. Matthew says:

    A little sad. I was hoping they would actually stunt cast Bob Barker again!…. I think we are only going to see him for one episode.

  28. Teeka says:

    John Lithgow good John Laroquette epic.

  29. giGi says:

    Best casting EVER!!! I loved 3rd Rock From The Sun. He is such a great actor. I can imagine him saying the famous “wait it for it…” lines.

  30. Richard says:

    I have read counless posts on who the mother is…all good gueses but i have yet to see anything about Molly…ted had a flashback to a dark haired girl who he had sex with and then she borrowed 20 dollars and left…could she be the mother ??

  31. Michael says:

    I think it’s incredibly good fortune for the creators of HIMYM and CBS, if they get John Lithgow to play the role of Barney Stinson’s father. Mr. Lithgow is an extraordinary actor, with an incredible of talent and range as actor, raconteur, and writer. And Lithgow’s role as The Commander in 3rd Rock From the Sun depicted a man very much like the Barney Stinson character depicted by Neil Patrick Harris on HIMYM: both are self-important, narcissistic, and inwardly fraught with massive amounts of insecurities.

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  33. kate says:

    john lithgow is fantastic actor!! cant wait to see him should be very funny. but I need to know who is the mother????? do they tell you at the end of season 6 Im in australia and we are not only down under but way behind tooo lol