I watched the episode, made a quick run over to TedMosbyIsAJerk.com just to make sure it existed, then started typing away without pausing to reflect -- or, for that matter, to unmute my computer long enough to realize that the website features a 20 minute-long song -- more of a screed with musical accompaniment, really -- by the woman who hates Ted/Barney.
And the more I thought about the episode -- in particular, the long-awaited "Doogie Howser" homage at the very end -- and about the amount of effort put into what was essentially a throwaway sight gag, the more I grew to love "The Bracket." If it's not at the top of the "HIMYM" pantheon like a "Slap Bet" or "Single Stamina," it's only because of some of the dialogue, which as I said yesterday (at greater length than it deserved, given the episode's strengths) feels like the muscle that's coming back the slowest post-strike. The basic concept was great, and everyone got a hilarious bit of side business, whether it was Lily's dance, or Marshall not knowing what to do with his hands, or even Ted's insistence that Fake Baby was far, far worse than Lost At Sea.
So, to make up for not showing the episode quite enough love yesterday, and with so many people interested in the origins of the TedMosbyIsAJerk.com song, I decided to ask "HIMYM" co-creator Carter Bays for info on that -- and on Neil Patrick Harris' willingness, after all these years, to re-embrace his inner Doogie.
On the site and the song:
TedMosbyisajerk.com had kind of the same origins as Barney's Blog -- it was initially just a joke in the script, nothing more. Then we realized if we're saying "tedmosbyisajerk.com" on the show, we should buy that web address, just in case someone else bought it and threw a bunch of porn up there or something. So once we had the web address, we decided to put a little site up, with just some really simple text and a few images. And then Carl MacLaren, our associate producer, had this crazy idea of doing a song. Craig and I love any chance to write music, and I had just bought some cheap recording equipment, so we decided to write and record a little theme song for the website. Then the whole thing got out of hand, and it turned into this 20 minute opus. We wanted it to be like a long Patti Smith song, with this rambling poetry, or like the song "Turn Blue" by Iggy Pop.Vis a vis Doogie:
Anyway, the whole thing happened really quickly -- Carl had the idea last week and we recorded it this weekend. The vocals are by Charlene Amoia, the actress who plays Wendy the Waitress on the show (hence the Wendy the Waitress reference at the end). We all sort of wrote it together -- some of it was written out, and some of it was just Charlene at the mic going off like Mick Jagger, which was hilarious to witness.
And yeah, it was surprising how quickly people devoured the whole thing. Although, as we were doing the "Wendy is the mother" backmasking, it did sort of feel like, okay, we're proud of ourselves for being this sneaky, but let's be honest, it's 2008, this'll be unveiled on the newsgroups within five minutes of the show airing. And
sure enough it was.
Neil loved doing the Doogie tag. Craig was on the set for this one, so I don't know if he said anything more about it, but I think he agreed it definitely felt like too great of an idea not to do at least once. And Season Three seemed like the time to do it.