How I Met Your Mother Exclusive: House's Kal Penn Will Play Doctor With Robin

President Obama’s loss is How I Met Your Mother‘s gain.

Kal Penn — who put the brakes on his acting career two years ago when he traded in his regular gig on House for a job in the Obama administration — is returning to TV with a major recurring role on How I Met Your Mother, sources confirm to TVLine exclusively.

A show rep declined to comment, but a Mother source says Penn will play a possible love interest for Cobie Smulders’ lovelorn Robin named Kevin.

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Penn’s arrival of course reunites him with Neil Patrick Harris, who played, well, “Neil Patrick Harris” to his Kumar in the Harold & Kumar films.

Penn is slated to vacate his White House post — where he served as associate director in the office of public liaison — later this month. (Obama may not be losing Penn for long though. Sources have him hitting the campaign trail with the prez in 2012.)

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HIMYM exec producer Craig Thomas strongly hinted to TVLine in May that Robin would jump back into the dating scene, especially now that her maybe-soul mate Barney had moved on with Nora: “Robin didn’t do a hell of a lot of dating at all [last season]; she was more [immersed in] switching careers,” he said. “Now, Robin, who’s single and is looking forward a little bit, can’t help but wonder if what happened between her and Barney could have been something more had they been more ready.”

Barney growing up a bit via Nora “has not gone unnoticed by Robin, who did not have a serious love interest this past year. She’s definitely going to have to wrestle with that at the start of Season 7.”

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How I Met Your Mother kicks off its seventh season on Sept. 19.

Want How I Met Your Mother Scoop and Spoilers 24/7? Follow Me on Twitter via @MichaelAusiello

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  1. Jessie says:

    I LOVE this casting news. Great choice. I think he and Cobie will play amazingly well off each other.

  2. Ben says:

    I take it this to replace Michael Trucco’s character. More Robin is fine by me, now we just need more Lily and A LOT less Marshall, and we could be in for a good season.

    • maja says:

      I think it should be vice versa. A LOT LESS LILY and more Marshall.

    • Michael says:

      Less Ted and Robin, more Marshall, Lily, and Barney.

      • april-ann says:

        Less Ted.

        • Bob says:

          Ummm…the show is called “How I Met Your Mother” (perhaps you forgot because it’s always abbreviated), with the “I” being Ted. How do you have “Less Ted” and still have the concept for the show?

          • Carissa says:

            Agreed. Ted is the root of the show, and hilarious.

          • Michael says:

            What I mean was showing less Ted. The last season was focused more on Marshall and Barney than Ted and that was a good thing. Ted and Robin are easily the worst characters on the show. Robin being significantly worse than Ted, of course.

    • Audrey says:

      Craig Thomas said: “For Michael Trucco, it’s good for him, bad for us, because his cable show got picked up for a second season, so we won’t get to use as much of him as we would like. He will come back – we promised that through the narrator – but we won’t be able to use him extensively. Nora, I will say, is definitely going to be a part of Season 7.”

      I don’t remember this storyline being introduced, though. Can someone refresh my memory? Apparently he was referred to as “the one who got away”?

    • Christine says:

      We would be in for a bad season if there would be A LOT less marshall.

  3. maja says:

    I wish instead of giving them random love interest they would give us a proper take of Robin/Barney instead of the clusterf*** we had before! :( We all know they’re the ones that will marry… just… yeah.

    • april-ann says:

      Agreed, but they want to milk this show for as long as they can, a few more years at least, so they won’t put Robin/Barney together for good just yet.

  4. Cami says:


  5. TIM says:


  6. april-ann says:

    This is great. Looking forward to it.

  7. AJ says:

    Me gusta!

    p.s. I will never get over Kutner’s death.

  8. Ryan says:

    THIRD person from HOUSE on HIMYM. Anne Dudek played Natalie, Jennifer Morrison played Zoey, and now Kal Penn as Robin’s new love interest!

  9. Juliet says:

    *swoon* Love him.

  10. Matthew says:

    Never saw this coming. I assumed Kai would be a two term advisor in the administration. It will certainly be interesting.. Im already envisioning a double date episode with Nora/Barney and Robin/ Kevin.

  11. Me says:

    Awesome, should be interesting. I’m still thinking we’ll see a return of barney/robin down the road

  12. TheDude says:

    What a refreshingly strange choice. I really like that they’re finally hooking Robin up with someone besides your Sterotypical fratboy look of a Boyfriend that she always has(Well, besides Ted and Barney, obviously…oh and that old guy on Slapsgiving)

  13. Jacko says:

    What, getting coffee for Obama wasn’t worth his time? Hey, he’s our savior, Kal! If all you have to do is get the man his coffee and walk his dog so he can save the world as our Messiah, then by God you better do it! Hope and change and all that stuff.

  14. Snsetblaze says:

    Well it would be funny if they named the character Kumar.

  15. Mo says:

    Finally some more ethnicity is introduced to this show. I mean I didn’t mind before, but I’m very happy they brought in someone, especially of south Asian background, who we don’t see that often (with a few exceptions like BBT)

  16. stargazer1682 says:

    It’ll be interesting to see either Robin or Barney hit the serious dating scene next year. While I’m not a “shipper” per se, I do kind of want to see Swarkles ultimately reunite, in a emotionally stable way (but still as crazy as they ever are; ala “Natural History.”)

  17. GDM says:

    UGH, worst news ever. HIMYM was already about to fall out of my rotation, now it’s official.

  18. Erin says:

    How exciting. I would watch Kal Penn in anything. Love him.

  19. Andyhartley says:

    Yay! Kumar! Now they just need Harold on this show for a lil Harold and Kumar reunion on HIMYM.

    Also i like that idea of having another House actor on the show, Thirteen would be an awesome mother imo

  20. Mandy says:

    excellent. I like Kal Penn in everything his does and his comedic talents will go well with the rest of this cast. Looking forward to it!

  21. July says:

    he is cool! but i want Robin with Barney!

  22. Allan says:

    We need John Cho, Mr. Chow, and Kal Penn all together!!

  23. Carissa says:

    I am so excited… But I still want Robin and Ted together. :( Sadly, there is no hope for that.

  24. Luigi says:

    hey i have a clue on whos the real mother… remember the episode no tomorrow where barney wears the green suit??? there’s a scene that ted bumb into a woman… a random girl i guess.. but check out the 1st scene where the mother go in the bar look at her jeans and the one that ted bumb in to.. same i guess :)) juz checked it out 4 urself :))

  25. Pat dean says:

    Late Night with Jimmy Fallon has Bob Sagat on tonight and they say “from how I met your mother” which leads me to beleve that he my be joining as well.

  26. John says:

    Does the Indian guy have to be named “Kevin?” C’mon sitcom writers, you can be more creative then that.

  27. india says:

    Well Kal Penn is an amazing actor and his comedy timing is very good but not better then Barney. So it gives me second reason to watch this show, now its gonna be legen……wait for it….dary.

  28. Fulton says:

    Can wait to see more of this!! it is going to be… wait for it…. legendary!!!