Exclusive

How I Met Your Mother Exclusive First Look: How Barney Met His Father

An uncanny resemblance isn’t the only thing Barney Stinson’s long-lost father (played by John Lithgow) shares with Dexter‘s legendary Trinity Killer. “We started to get worried because there are some similarities to his character on Dexter,” reveals How I Met Your Mother cocreator Carter Bays, pointing out that much like Trinity, the elusive Jerome Whitaker “is a family man who lives in the suburbs.”

There’s one minor difference between the two, however: Jerome doesn’t, you know, murder people. “We took that out,” Bays deadpans. “He’s not going to be naked in the bathtub strangling someone.”

Bays calls Lithgow’s two-episode Mother stint — which kicks off March 21 (get an exclusive first look below) — the perfect post-Dexter “palate cleanser.” (This is the actor’s first TV role since leaving the Showtime smash two years ago.)

“John clearly wanted to do something that was just silly and fun — not that it’s all silly and fun because there’s a lot of drama to it — but something lighter and with more heart,” Bays adds. “We were honored that he chose us.”

Although hesitant to spoil too much about the long-awaited father-son reunion, Bays teases that Barney will struggle to “reconcile who he hoped his dad would be and who his dad actually is.”

The chemistry between Lithgow and Harris was predictably off the charts, says Bays. “They’re magnificent together. They’re both such great craftsman. We went down a long list of people we could possibly cast as Barney’s dad and as soon as we landed on John Lithgow something about it felt right.”

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44 Comments
  1. Entertainment2u-Twitter says:

    You tease!

  2. AJ says:

    Palate. Palate cleanser.

  3. slizabeth says:

    Too. Weird. While it’s great casting, it is SO hard for me to look at him and NOT think of him as Trinity.

  4. Sharon Clos says:

    THIS IS GOING TO BE AMAAAZING
    I loved him in 3rd Rock, and I saw him on Broadway – he’s fantastic

  5. hyoga says:

    oh man… you tricked me, i get here thinking i was going to met the MOTHER!

    bad, bad michael :(

  6. dee123 says:

    Glad he’s back in comedy it’s been a long time.

  7. Diane says:

    I still see the goofy guy from Third Rock

  8. Katrina says:

    COME ON HOW DID YOU MEET MY MOTHERR
    This bedtime story has gone on TOO LONG those kids should be like 17 by now! :P AND EVERY EPISODE I HOPE TO MEET THE MOMMY :(

  9. Summer says:

    Revealing the identity of the mother would only mean the show is ending.

  10. Caiti says:

    I like this show, but agree it’s been going on a while… We know Ted doesn’t end up with Zooey (they didn’t meet at a Wedding) but I think him being Best Man at Punchy’s is a misdirect. I hope it’s Barney and Robin’s, but could be Ted’s dad? Either way, Marshall was wearing a boutonniere too, so he’s in the wedding as well. Definitely not Punchy.

    • Taylor says:

      Yeah, it totally has to be Robin’s wedding – Ted’s the best man and Lily was the one who asked for him, meaning that Robin asked Lily to get Ted so he could calm her down. Also, when Marshall and Ted were talking outside, he was saying how difficult it would be to do it – to see Robin get married since he was so sure for the longest time that they would get married. Robin could possible marry Barney because we didn’t see him in that clip at all – and that might be why the wedding would be so difficult, not just because Robin its getting married, but because she’s marrying one of his best friends, Barney. Personally, I do hope that Barney and Robin get married (and that the middle of the ceremony is when Marshall chooses to endow the final slap). The writers somewhat hinted that Barney still cares about Robin a few times in the beginning of this season, like at the end of the episode where they were all racing throughout NYC and Robin was attempting to prove that shes a real New Yorker – Barney let Robin win and Ted pointed it out.

  11. Allen says:

    This article was a spoiler for two shows at once for me! :(

  12. Aiden says:

    I love John Lithgow, and it’s awesome that he’ll be playing the Barnacles’ dad. But, boy, his performance on Dexter as Trinity is forever burned into my mind. It’s still creepy when I remember that character even though the guy is playing a totally different role.

  13. Elizabeth says:

    I love this show… revealing the mother will mean the show’s ending. I believe the show still has a few more seasons before they can reveal who the mother is, but do believe that it’s soon to come.

  14. Vicky says:

    I agree!!!! Don’t end the show just yet!!! But let’s add in more comedy…its not as funny as the first 3 seasons! I still love every second of it but its getting too heavy sometimes…with Marshall’s dad passing and all…Its better a little light hearted and fun!

  15. Alanah says:

    I just wanna know who the mother is….!?!?!?!?!?!

  16. Shaili says:

    I dont wanna know themotheryet, i enjoy each and every moment of this show and i just dont want it to end :)

  17. jphilly says:

    Im just glad they have gone the father route with swarley rather than the relationship route. The whole barney/robin thing was a total snore.

  18. prem says:

    Please don’t end the show just yet!! I dont wanna know the mother. I enjoy each and every moment of this show. Take as long as ew want to reveal the mother, that way the show will be never-ending :)

    • Harmony says:

      I don’t think you have to worry about the show ending when Ted finally meets the mother. There are so many story lines that could revolve around them meeting, getting to know each other, dating, Ted messing up, things going wrong, breaking up, getting back together, and finally getting married. That alone could take another 2 seasons at least. :D

      • AB says:

        I disagree. I think meeting the mother will be the end of the show, since the whole story is of how he MET their mother. Not about how he dated, etc. and married her.

  19. betty says:

    yeah – barney’s and the suspense of a mommy is too long. I’ve been watchin this long time hoping to get to know who the hell is a mom – darn

  20. Harmony says:

    This is going to be awesome. I’m glad they’re finally doing this. The show has played around with the idea of Barney’s dad so long it’s going to be really fun to finally see the reunion.

  21. Daniel Ellern says:

    ZOEY IS THE MOTHER

  22. Cortney says:

    I think the heavier plots for the show are good, tough, but as this show grows, so does the audience. it also helps to keep the characters well rounded, which if the characters were still stuck in the first season phase, we all would have changed the channel by now. This show has such a following because we are all able to relate to one character or another, and although this comedy allows us to tune out of our own drama each week, we are kept grounded by the realism in their own struggles.

  23. jeff says:

    carter bays and craig thomas have said they are planning on three more seasons after this one. no need to get your panties in a bunch.

  24. Karen says:

    @Caiti – We don’t “know” that Zoey’s not the mother… In the episode with the wedding, if I recall correctly, they just said the mother was at the wedding, they didn’t say that’s where they met. Just like the mother was in one of his classes, but he was in the wrong class, and that’s not when they met.

    I will say that the show is really good about leaving everything so generic so that every time he starts dating someone, you wonder if she’s the mother…

  25. Scott says:

    Thanks for the pic, this meeting is going to be legenawesomedary.

  26. Acante says:

    I pretty sure the mother will be Barney’s sister who Barney does not know yet!!!

  27. DRUMYBOY says:

    IT IS NOT ZOEY!!!!
    think about it, if it were zoey, the kids would have been like “oh wow. good story dad,” a long time ago. PLUS I recall more than once were ted is telling them “kids, you remember zoey right?.”

    • Scarlet says:

      PLUS, in the episode from a couple weeks ago, when future Ted bumps into Wendy in the airport, she asks him about Zoey and he says something about her being long gone. So, right there, we get confirmation that Zoey is not the mother!

  28. yimhoiwa says:

    Barney is so cool

  29. katclemenza says:

    of course he is, but i have another really great theory….. ok.. what if they defitnely put barney & robin back together for 1 night only and she gets pregnant with twins but they[barney&robin] stay as ultimate lovers up until they get married a couple of weeks before ted&mysterywoman’s wedding