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 (44)

  • Legendary.
    The Trinity Killer fathered the LadyKiller.

    Comment by John Berggren – January 14, 2011 02:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Oh c’mon seriously. This is epic FAIL!

    Comment by Ryan – January 14, 2011 02:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by Rock Golf – January 14, 2011 07:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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!

      Comment by John – January 14, 2011 10:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Joe T – January 14, 2011 02:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by cheri – January 14, 2011 02:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It doesn’t say anywhere in the article that she had a fling with Bob Barker, just that he was a red herring.

      Comment by Jones19 – January 14, 2011 03:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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

    Comment by Lindy – January 14, 2011 02:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • When did Ausiello ever say Mrs. Stinson had a fling with Bob Barker???

      Comment by Jenn – January 14, 2011 02:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • He must have removed it. It was there when the article was first posted.

        Comment by cheri – January 14, 2011 03:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wow awesome! I love John Lithgow. But I think the term is ‘legendary’ not ‘epic’…..

    Comment by John Christopher – January 14, 2011 02:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • thats the joke genius

      Comment by kyle – January 15, 2011 11:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Kira J – January 14, 2011 02:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ack! Trinity is Barney’s dad?

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

    Comment by Erica – January 14, 2011 02:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Can you people not read? The article doesn’t even say Barney’s mom had a fling with Bob Barker. Lithgow ftw!

    Comment by Cari – January 14, 2011 03:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Oooh I love John Lithgow! He’s hilarious. This is great casting right here.

    Comment by Jones19 – January 14, 2011 03:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It’s been a while since 3rd Rock From The Sun, good to see.

    Comment by dee123 – January 14, 2011 03:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Dave – January 14, 2011 03:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Great casting, no doubt. Nice to see Lithgow back in a lighter role again.

    Comment by Dave – January 14, 2011 03:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I do kind of love the idea of Ruth Fisher + Trinity Killer = Barney Stinson

    Comment by Cait – January 14, 2011 03:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love Lithgow, but this could have been the opportunity to connect Barney to his true sitcom ancestor, and cast a different John: Larroquette.

    Comment by mikejonas – January 14, 2011 03:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by Doug – January 14, 2011 03:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • AWESOME! He’ll always be Dick to me though!

    Comment by Steven – January 14, 2011 03:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think he’s perfect. He plays self-aggrandizing and slightly obsessive very well. It’ll be hilarious to see them together.

    Comment by April – January 14, 2011 05:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!

    Comment by Dayln – January 14, 2011 06:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • totally agree i was thinking the exact same thing

      Comment by lee – January 14, 2011 07:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • i think its going to be legen…..wait for it…..dery

    Comment by lauz – January 14, 2011 06:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • you need spell…wait for it…check

      Comment by kyle – January 15, 2011 11:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Love Lithgow one of the best actors ever.He is seriosly funny.

    Comment by Zturk – January 15, 2011 05:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Dw. Dunphy – January 15, 2011 05:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by toast – January 15, 2011 07:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • my thoughts as well.

      Comment by giGi – January 19, 2011 02:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What would be funny is if the actor JOHN LITHGOW was Barney’s father.

    Comment by toast – January 15, 2011 07:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Nice, but I don’t care. Get to the freaking mother already.

    Comment by davej – January 15, 2011 09:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Legend… wait for it… ary!! :)

    Comment by Josh – January 15, 2011 12:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • legendary?

    Comment by Jenny – January 15, 2011 03:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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?

    Comment by tanya – January 16, 2011 01:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Matthew – January 16, 2011 02:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • John Lithgow good John Laroquette epic.

    Comment by Teeka – January 16, 2011 03:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by giGi – January 19, 2011 02:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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 ??

    Comment by Richard – January 19, 2011 10:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Michael – January 20, 2011 02:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Very helpful info specially the last part :) I care for such info much. I was looking for this certain info for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

    Comment by Rina Bolinsky – February 8, 2011 12:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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

    Comment by kate – June 23, 2011 02:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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