Smoking Out the Baby Issue on 'How I Met Your Mother'
If you watched last Monday's episode of CBS' "How I Met Your Mother," you heard Ted (Josh Radnor) telling his future children about how he and his friends managed to quit smoking. In particular, we learned that Lily (Alyson Hannigan) quit smoking when she tried to become pregnant, and that her husband, Marshall (Jason Segel), quit when his son was born.
So, unless Lily is swept away in an avalanche, and Marshall remarries -- maybe Robin (Cobie Smulders), as she's making the rounds, having dated both Ted and womanizing Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) -- then there will be the patter of tiny feet in the couple's future.
Crucially, Ted mentioned no exact date for either smoking cessation effort.
In real life, while Segel is single, Hannigan had a baby earlier this year with husband and former "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" co-star Alexis Denisof.
So, when I visited the New York Street at 20th Century Fox Studios to watch filming of the big musical number from the "HIMYM" 100th episode (airing Jan. 11, syndicated print story to come), and I was able to grab Hannigan and executive producer Craig Thomas after shooting wrapped, I took the opportunity to broach the topic of possible parenthood.
"Um, I'll say this," said Thomas, "they're 31 years old, they've been together, coming up on half their lives, right? They got together at 18."
"Tick-tock," said Hannigan.
"It's a little bit of a tick-tock," said Thomas. "I'll put it this way, without revealing anything -- it's a huge debate in the writers' room. I would love to explore that with Marshal and Lily, but it has to be the right time. It has to be the right chapter and the right moment in the show.
"We want them to have as much fun with pre-baby life as we can, but so many of us ... Alyson had a baby. I have a little two-year-old. So many of us have gone through that, and there are so many stories to tell with that. I wouldn't be surprised. I wouldn't be surprised."
Unlike the many unhappy couples on television, Marshall and Lily actually enjoy the married state. So, I wondered, wouldn't they have just as much fun with parenthood?
"Yeah, they would," said Hannigan. "Oh, god, yeah, and then the sleepless nights and the sleep deprivation can be very fun."
"You start acting crazy," said Thomas, "and we watch Marshall and Lily slowly lose their minds, turn on each other a little bit."
"Can you imagine Lily shopping for the baby?" said Hannigan.
"Lily falls off the wagon in her shopping addiction for the baby," Thomas said.
"For the baby," said Hannigan.
"Marshall gets a bill," said Thomas, "and it's, like, $27,000, all for the baby. I like this idea. Lily racks up a six-figure baby debt."
I also mentioned that, since Barney got a whole musical number to celebrate his love of suits, perhaps Marshall and Lily need a big fantasy sequence of their own.
"Another musical?" said Hannigan.
I suggested a spy movie.
"Marshall and Lily spy movie," said Thomas.
"That's pretty good," said Hannigan.
"I'm stealing that," said Thomas.
"I like trench coats," Hannigan said. "I'm just sayin'."