Kids, in the fall of 2005, CBS premiered a series that would satisfy fans of comedies centered on twenty-something New Yorkers after Friends ended. That show was How I Met Your Mother.
The clever sitcom is framed around Future Ted Mosby (the voice of Bob Saget) recalling the story of how he met his wife to his son and daughter. Really, though, it is a chronicle of the bizarre misadventures of Ted and his friends, including mysterious pineapples and blue french horns, as the gang struggles to navigate adulthood, with some having it more figured out than others.
How I Met Your Mother lasted nine seasons, introducing memorable iconography, coning iconic catchphrases and acquiring a loyal army of fans, many of which would later disown the series over an unexpectedly somber finale, along the way. It also launched or revived the careers of its charming main cast.
Since How I Met Your Mother ended in 2014, it has been almost thrilling to see what the cast has gone onto achieve, starring in and even creating an eclectic variety of projects on both the big and small screen. On that note, let's take a look at what the How I Met Your Mother cast has been up to since the show wrapped up.
Josh Radnor (Ted Mosby)
Before landing the role of serial hopeless romantic Ted Mosby (the central role of How I Met Your Mother), Josh Radnor’s biggest role was as a high school tour guide in 2000’s Not Another Teen Movie. During his downtime from filming the show, he also got his moment in the director’s chair twice with Happythankyoumoreplease and Liberal Arts, both of which he also wrote and starred in.
To this day, Ted Mosby on How I Met Your Mother remains Josh Radnor’s most iconic role, having since appeared here and there in lesser-known films and short-lived television dramas, like as a high school theater director on Rise, NBC’s answer to Glee, and a Civil War-era doctor in the PBS series Mercy Street. He is currently filming Amazon’s upcoming miniseries The Hunt, which sounds kind of like Inglourious Basterds in the 1970s, from executive producer Jordan Peele.
Ted Mosby spent the entirety of How I Met Your Mother looking for the one woman to bring him happiness, but Josh Radnor does not need to search for his “one” role to satisfy him. From the looks of it, he is always searching for a new challenge to take on.
Cobie Smulders (Robin Scherbatsky)
Like her How I Met Your Mother counterpart, Robin Scherbatsky, Cobie Smulders is also a Canadian who found breakthrough success on television. Yet, that would mark the extent of how she relates to Robin.
Other than playing a former pop star with commitment issues on How I Met Your Mother, Cobie Smulders made her first big return to television in 2017 for Netflix’s dark comedy Friends from College. She can also add “comic book hero” to her resume thrice for starring as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill in the MCU since 2012’s The Avengers (who she will reprise in Spider-Man: Far From Home), leading ABC’s adaptation of noir graphic novel series Stumptown this fall and voicing Wonder Woman for 2019’s The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part.
While Robin Scherbatsky’s career in show business suffered from living in the shadow of her alter ego Robin Sparkles, Cobie Smulders has successfully outgrown her How I Met Your Mother role. The range of her acting talent continues to surprise us.
Neil Patrick Harris (Barney Stinson)
Fame befell Neil Patrick Harris at a young age, starring as a teenaged licensed physician in family comedy Doogie Howser, M.D. His career saw a huge resurgence in his career as arrogant, womanizing, and, somehow, likable scene-stealer Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother.
Neil Patrick Harris has only gotten bigger in recent years due to his status as an influential role model as well as his onscreen presence. Following the end of How I Met Your Mother, NPH had a pivotal role in David Fincher’s Gone Girl, won a Tony for his role on Broadway’s Hediwg and the Angry Inch and played Count Olaf in Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, which he also executive produced.
Next, the actor is set to star in a biopic about beauty queen-turned-anti-gay activist Anita Bryant. Neil Patrick Harris stole the spotlight on How I Met Your Mother and it has not gone out on him yet.
Jason Segel (Marshall Eriksen)
The more devoted members of Jason Segel’s fanbase may remember him Nick Andopolis on the short-lived, but much-loved dramedy Freaks and Geeks. However, it was his role as Ted’s best friend and Lily’s true love, Marshall Eriksen on How I Met Your Mother that made mainstream audiences fall for him.
Jason Segel stuck around the comedy scene as one of Judd Apatow’s go-to players during How I Met Your Mother's run, but following the show’s finale, the Forgetting Sarah Marshall scribe surprised audiences by revealing a few extra tricks up his sleeve.
We saw Jason Segel’s first dramatic role in 2015 as the late author David Foster Wallace in The End of the Tour. Since then, all of his major projects have been drama, such as the sci-fi film The Discovery, evangelist biopic Come Sunday and upcoming true-life drama The Friend with Dakota Johnson and Casey Affleck.
On How I Met Your Mother, Marshall Eriksen went through many changes, from a stoner slacker to an environmental lawyer to a family man. Regarding his acting career, Jason Segel can definitely relate.
Alyson Hannigan (Lily Aldrin)
Like her How I Met Your Mother co-stars Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segel, aspiring artist with a tendency to bring out her darkside, Lily Aldrin, is not Alyson Hannigan’s first breakthrough role, and not even her most iconic. Her career started out on an even darker path in the late 1990s as Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Yet, with the exception of the Shudder exclusive slasher flick You Might Be The Killer, Alyson Hannigan’s career has only looked brighter in tone since How I Met Your Mother’s end. Aside from hosting magician competition show Penn & Teller: Fool Us, she has made most of her appearances in lighthearted TV projects, such as the animated children’s series Fancy Nancy or Disney Channel’s live action feature-length adaptation of Kim Possible, starring as Kim’s mother.
There is both darkness and light in Alyson Hannigan’s future as she is currently preparing to lead Lifetime’s true-life drama 53 Days: The Abduction of Mary Stauffer and co-star with Mira Sorvino as engaged lesbians in the comedy Dodie & Cheryl Get Hitched. Hannigan’s career seems to be following the duality of her How I Met Your Mother character quite fittingly.
No matter what your feelings about How I Met Your Mother’s controversial conclusion, the cast has remained a beloved staple of television iconography. The way their careers have evolved since is a testament as to why we welcomed them in our homes and hearts in the first place.
Ted Mosby probably would have been super jealous of us. We got to find our true love with his show before he found it himself.