Lately all the How I Met Your Mother news has been focused on creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas trying to figure out if they’re writing one more season or two while they wait to see if they get picked up for season 9. But what we’ve all forgotten is that the most important question isn’t whether Ted should meet The Mother this year or next, but whether the show’s stars are patient enough to stick around for two more years. Because last night, a rumor spread like wildfire that Jason Segel was only sticking it out through season 8.
It started, as these things often do, with a foreign publication. The Austrian website kurier.at ran an interview with Segel where he was quoted as discussing a supposed career shift:
“It’s great to do some ‘rated R’ stuff again, because I’ve been playing the nice guy for quite a long time now. That’s why I’m gonna quit How I Met Your Mother after the eighth season.”
Right off the bat, it’s obvious that this can’t be an exact quote. I can’t imagine any actor, especially one with Segel’s social graces, bluntly announcing such monumental news. The wording is also really awkward. Within a few hours, Segel’s camp clarified the quote, though their statement was frustratingly vague: “Perhaps something got lost in translation, but Season 9 hasn’t even been addressed yet.” It’s kind of a weird cop-out, because if HIMYM gets only eight seasons, then Segel won’t be the bad guy for leaving because the show will be over.
Ace Showbiz talked to a supposed insider, who said that despite all the walking on eggshells, Segel is antsy about staying on for an extra year. “Jason and Alyson [Hannigan] are the two least likely to want to do a season 9,” the source said. “It would take a lot of money to keep them. A lot.”
I don’t know if I would keep watching HIMYM without Marshall Eriksen; he and Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders) are the two best parts of the show, for me. That said, if you had to get rid of people, cutting out Marshall and Lily together could be the smartest move. In 2010, Jason got flak for honestly admitting to GQ that he couldn’t see himself having much more to offer to or gain from the role after eight seasons. Most of his frustration seemed to weigh on the fact that there was only so much you could do with Marshall and Lily:
It’s an amazing place to be. But when you become an actor, part of it, the secret part of it, is that you don’t want to work a regular nine-to-five job. And the secret part of a TV show is that it’s a nine-to-five job. And eight years is longer than any relationship I’ve ever been in, it’s longer than any school I went to. I think after eight years, I’ll feel like I honorably did my commitment.
It’s funny—it’s the greatest problem in the world to have. Jeez—I’m the luckiest guy in the world. But when your idol is Peter Sellers, playing one character for eight years isn’t what you’re trying to do. I don’t really feel like I have that much more to offer with this character. Maybe if we got divorced or something—but that’s not gonna happen. It’s gonna be some iteration of, like, my TV wife opens the fridge, and she’s like, “What happened to the birthday cake?” And I walk in with a little frosting here [points to corner of mouth] like, “What birthday cake?”
To be fair, those two are getting pretty tired by now. Would you watch HIMYM without Jason?