'How I Met Your Mother' at Comic-Con: Cast discusses Season 9

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"How I Met Your Mother" had a strong, emotional sendoff as the series had its first-ever San Diego Comic-Con panel as it's gearing up for its ninth and final season. The full cast - Neil Patrick Harris, Cobie Smulders, Alyson Hannigan, Jason Segel and Josh Radnor -- got an overwhelming welcome from fans who camped out to get a chance to see the CBS sitcom's actors.

"Thank you to everyone who waited in line," co-creator Craig Thomas tells the crowd. "We were all there among you, we were just dressed in Dothraki."

The panel began with a video teaser for the coming Season 9. It opened in the classic "How I Met Your Mother" manner, but Ted's future character was interrupted by his two children, who have grown up quite a bit over the past eight years (see the video below). They yelled at him for making them spend eight years on the couch so they could hear the story of how he met their mother, and finally future-Ted promised to finish the story. Unfortunately we have to on Sept. 23 for that journey to begin.

"This season is for you guys, this is our goodbye to you guys and our appreciation to you," co-creator Carter Bays says. "Decades will span over the course of this season within this one weekend."

Expect to see a lot of familiar faces reunite for Robin and Barney's wedding. Wayne Brady will be back. Plus Harris revealed that James is getting a divorce, which "puts things into a little bit of a pickle." Still, he says he wishes we'll see "BritBrit" again (Britney Spears, for those of you who aren't "HIMYM" fans).

"I really hope we get to meet Robin's mom," Smulders says. Harris adds with a wry look on his face, "I'm hoping the same thing."

Music was a hot topic during the panel. Smulders sang a bit of "Let's Go To The Mall," which can be watched below, while Segel sang his Dracula musical track and the whole cast sang the "Bang Bang" song. Still, they don't know if a musical number will be in Season 9, though there was a tease that Robin Sparkles could make a reappearance. "It's a wedding," Thomas says. "People sing songs at weddings." They dance as well, so expect another epic Barney and Robin dance session at the wedding.

It's also worth noting that there are still several slaps left to be given. "There is going to be an episode in the middle of the season that takes place during the course of one slap," Thomas says. "That's literally the framing device for an entire episode."

Of course, Season 9 is about getting to know the mother as well. She has finally been cast, and the creators made it very clear that fans will get to know Cristin Milioti's character.

"She's just really wonderful. I couldn't be happier," Bays says. Director Pam Fryman adds, "When you tune into the season premiere, you will not be disappointed."

The key point of the season will be that "How I Met Your Mother" will get to say goodbye to its fans. "I feel very lucky that we get to kind of say goodbye," Smulders says. Hannigan adds, "It is just so amazing that a sitcom could have fans like you guys."

For the record, the best line of the panel went to Harris. "I never thought I'd get to make out with so many chicks. A lot," he says. "I dry bumped an old lady for like more than hour -- and then I came to work."


Here's the video of Ted's kids ( Lyndsy Fonseca and David Henrie) chewing him out:

Photo/Video credit: Zap2it