How I Love "How I Met your Mother"

I like TV.

un-der-state-ment ( P ) (ndr-sttmnt, ndr-stt-)n.
Restraint or lack of emphasis in expression

I’ve always liked TV.

Besides being hugely entertaining, and like a flickering hug for your peepers, TV watching is like therapy to me. Some people drink. Some people pop pills. I watch TV… while drinking and popping pills. I kid, I kid.

I think a LOT. (Which may shock people who know me — or read this site.) I think too much sometimes. And the only thing that turns that off is to sit down and watch TV. When people are sick, I watch TV. When I am sick, I watch TV. When people die, I watch TV.

This is not to say that I remain in denial about things, or don’t deal with them, it just means that sometimes my brain needs a break, so it turns to it’s satellited mistress.

If loving TV is wrong, baby, I don’t want to be right.

I’ve always loved TV.

There are full years of my past missing from my memory, but I remember the exact day in the seventh grade when we got cable TV. (It was a Tuesday, so I got to see my first episode of “The A-Team”!!!!) I was walking home from the bus stop and noticed an extra cable running from a pole to our house. Now, I’m the same dude who didn’t notice our BBQ being stolen from a couple of feet away from where my head was lying, but I picked this little black cable out from half a kilometer away.

Selective attention?

I even wanted to be on TV when I was a kid. I got involved in school plays in the 5th grade. Though I must admit that I originally got involved because I’d get to stay inside the warm school at recess time. It was winter in Canada. Come on.

The first play I was in was a musical sequel to “E.T.” No, I’m not kidding. I think it was called “E.T. & Me.” I have no idea if someone at the school wrote it, or where it came from. I do remember some lyrics to one of the songs:

“E.T., come visit me.
And if you get lonely, just phone home.
E.T., come visit me,
And if you get lonely, just phone home.”

I’m not making this up.

We had a big cardboard spaceship that was raised to the rafters and lowered back down for dramatic effect. This was actually pretty high tech for the time. Even higher techer was the E.T. suit itself. There were little light bulbs behind red felt in ET’s chest and at the end of his index finger. So, when he squeezed two wires together, both bulbs would light up.

The E.T. role was not an easy one. The voice needed to be perfect. Great timing was needed when lighting the bulbs. And he/she had to be super sneaky and pretend they were getting in the spaceship just before it went to the ceiling. The actor that played E.T. had to truly embody this lovable alien. The actor had to show a depth and vulnerability never before seen in junior high acting and —

Okay, fine. It was me.

Laugh it up. Go ahead. But, for a few months that spring, I WAS E.T.

I continued my acting career for a few more years. I did a play or two a year from the 5th grade to the 9th. The 9th grade I spent sitting in the courtyard and staring at pretty girls. I took part in no other activites at school. I stand by that decision. In the 10th grade I started playing basketball. And in the 12th grade I made my triumphant return to the stage. I appeared in “The Lottery,” which was not at all what I thought it was going to be.

At some point during my acting career, I decided that I was also a writer. In the seventh grade I wrote a skit where “The Golden Girls” met the dudes from “Miami Vice.” (TV shows, fancy that.) I don’t remember much about it other than the fact that Rue McLanahan’s character ended up in bed with Don Johnson’s character. I certainly hope that I made a joke about her wanting him to leave the blazer/pastel coloured t-shirt combo on in bed. My drama teacher read it, smiled nervously and quickly pushed it aside. This would be the first time I’d experience someone not getting my humour. Sadly, not the last.

Also, in the 8th grade (I think) we picked a play called “A Man with A Million.” This play was considerably too long, so we somehow decided to lop off the end and write a new ending. I decided that I should take the lead on this.

hu-bris ( P ) (hybrs) also hy-bris (h-)n.
Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance


It was terrible. Even by 8th grade standards. To this day I expect the original writer to show up at my door to punch me in the face. It would be entirely justified. The only things I remember about the play is that I was the lead – it was based on it being my turn, not acting prowess – and that I had a crush on the girl who played the bartender.

The next thing I remember writing is a spec teleplay for “The Larry Sanders Show.” In my episode, Hank believes he has a mancrush on Larry, and Larry ends up in bed with Dr. Ruth. (Do I see a trend developing?)

I still have a copy of this someplace. I read it a few years ago and was pleasantly surprised. It was actually quite funny, although horribly outdated.

Didn’t I mention “How I Met Your Mother” in the title of this sumbitch?

me-an-der ( P ) (m-ndr)intr.v.
To move aimlessly and idly without fixed direction.


I always wanted to create my own sitcom. I wanted a chance to build my own little world. The characters would have their own histories. There would be inside and recurring jokes. I’d find a way to work music in. I’d cast unbelievably cute actresses. And it would be funny. Creative and clever without trying to be a typical sitcom.

And then I saw “How I Met Your Mother.”

It was very, very close to everything I had in my mind for years. I loved it. And I hated the creators for stealing it. I actually later found out that a friend of mine attended college and is close friends with the creators Craig Thomas & Carter Bays.

I forgave them when they cast “Whinnie Cooper” in an episode.

It is now my dream to head out to LA for a visit and spend a week on the set. I’d love to see how every part of a sitcom works. The writers’ room, rehearsals, taping, and editing. Everything. I’d also like to float an episode idea by Bays & Thomas…

In a dream, “Robin” pictures herself meeting E.T. Wackiness ensues and they somehow end up in bed. E.T. is a tough character to play, and the casting would have to be PERFECT. Hey, did I mention that I can still light those bulbs?

I’m just sayin’, is all.

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4 Responses

  1. jen says:

    wow. i really learned something about you today. and you are never going to hear the end of it.

  2. Vincie says:

    Yeah, same here…

  3. jblaut@gmail.com says:

    Ok, you don’t know me. I found this listing doing a Google search for “come vist me” “just phone home”, in an attempt to find anyone else on the planet who remembers this E.T. song. I don’t know it from a show, but from the radio; when the film was originally in theaters, The Chipmunks cashed in on ET fever with this song. The few lyrics I remember (back from ’82 or whenever – I’m 32 now – so bear with me) are:

    ET come vist me
    And if you get lonely
    Just phone home

    ET come and visit me
    I’ll make you so happy
    you’ll never want to leave…

    Since you have the answer to power
    You can do my homework in an hour
    And then we can play for the rest of the day
    Later, Darth Vader, whatever you say…

    But I’m not just thinking of me
    You can (save?) the whole planet ET
    If you come and visit I promise you this
    Together we’ll prove that we really exist

    That’s all that sticks with me. Despite the web’s ability to dredge up every throwaway pop culture moment from the past 30 years, nobody has anything on this…except you. Go figure.

    At least now I know the whole thing wasn’t the product of my imagination.

  4. Donna says:

    Amazing..I have been searching for this song for years as well. My sister had the record when we were kids.

    Another verse goes something like this.
    “I’ll show you some wonderful places,
    I’ve prepared all my bikes for sky races,
    Plus I have a fern that’s not doing to well,
    and if you could fix it that sure would be swell”

    It’s

    “Since you have the absolute power

    Good luck with the rest!

    Donna (36)

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