The How I Met Your Mother gang doesn’t scrimp on celebrations. For its 100th episode Jan. 11 (8 ET/PT), the CBS comedy’s cast will perform a grand musical number featuring 65 dancers and a 50-person orchestra.
“It almost felt like an old-school MGM musical to me. It was a lot of cast and crew grouping together to make it special,” says Neil Patrick Harris, who plays the womanizing Barney. Harris, joined by fellow cast members Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Alyson Hannigan and Cobie Smulders, is at the center of the 2½-minute song-and-dance piece: Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit.
USA TODAY has a first look at the extravaganza, which was filmed over two days on the Fox studio lot’s New York Street. HIMYM executive producers Carter Bays and Craig Thomas wrote the words and music, then called on the talents of composer John Swihart and choreographer Zach Woodlee (Glee). Bays and Thomas have featured musical elements, such as the Robin Sparkles ’80s teen pop numbers, in episodes of HIMYM, which has a new episode Monday at 8.
“The way we viewed it was our 100th episode would end with something that felt like a party, like an on-air party for fans, and create a jubilant celebration moment at the end of the show,” Thomas says. “It feels like a crazy movie fantasyland.”
Harris, who has hosted the Tonys and Emmys, is happy Thomas and Bays wrote the song. “I’m glad we didn’t source it out. It still has the same sense of humor and sort of odd, obscure comedic ring to it.”
In the episode, “Girls vs. Suits,” the ever-business-suited Barney has the chance to date a hot bartender, but there’s a catch: She disdains men in suits. Thomas describes the ensuing musical extravaganza as “kind of a love song to The Suit, capital T, capital S.”
The episode will also reveal more, Thomas says, about the “mother” — Ted’s (Radnor) eventual wife — in the show’s title. “It’s the closest we’ve seen Ted get to answering the question: ‘Who is the mother?’ “