This show’s performers had bona fide acting chops. Each cast member brought experience to the show.
Ted Mosby, the show’s lead character, was played by Josh Radnor, who garnered several stage, television and big-screen credits prior to landing his How I Met Your Mother role. Josh’s Ted was lovable.
Jason Segal played Ted’s best friend, Marshall Eriksen. Segal’s acting career began in the late-1990s. He was a cast regular on two short-lived sitcoms prior to How I Met Your Mother. His character aspired to a law career that made a positive difference. That dream became sidetracked, muddled and circuitous over the course of the show’s story arc. Marshall’s true love was the next member of the close-knit fivesome.
Lily Aldrin, played by Alyson Hannigan, was Marshall’s “main squeeze.” Hannigan brought an established following to the show’s fan base. She clocked well over 100 episodes as Willow Rosenberg on television’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and nobody who saw her portrayal of Michelle Flaherty in American Pie will ever forget what she did “this one time at band camp.” As Lily, Hannigan is hilarious.
Cobie Smulders plays news anchor Robin Scherbatsky, whose Canadian heritage is often used as a comedic pincushion. Prior to How I Met Your Mother, Smulders earned several credits, including a four-episode turn on Showtime’s The L Word. Her Scherbatsky was driven in her professional life and often ill-fated in her love life. She and Ted have an on-again off-again relationship that develops over the course of the 9 seasons.
Neil Patrick Harris was the most established member of this sitcom’s cast at its inception. He famously played the lead role on Doogie Howser, M.D. His Barnie Stinson on How I Met Your Mother was a “player” of epic proportions!