Come On, GET UP New York! set: When Robin tries to book an interview with the mayor, Don condescends that she is adorable. He says the mayor won't appear on a show nobody watches and makes a colonoscopy joke I'm skipping. Robin tells Don he's just jealous because he never had a shot at a network job, but she thinks she does, so she has to focus on her work. Don says he's been on a network job and then launches into a morning anchor's equivalent of the Crash Davis speech from Bull Durham. No, not the kisses one -- the one about going to "The Show." The crew is amazed, but also discouraged. Don only lasted one Labor Day weekend at the network. "But the second you get used to it, they find someone who isn't 'going through a bitter divorce' or doesn't 'reek of gin'." (He makes air quotes back there.) Before you know it, you're stuck in a dead-end gig, surrounded by people who are going nowhere, doing the news in your tighty-whities. Robin waits a beat and then dead-pans: "Okay, the underwear thing was your choice, and I don't like that it's catching on." A couple of crew members pass by in their undies, to drive home a point nobody at my house wanted to learn.
MacLaren's; Exterior: Robin, Lily and Marshall all smoke outside the bar as Robin rants that of course people watch her show -- like her good friends Marshall and Lily -- who so do not. Robin's offended when she realizes they still haven't seen it, but she's woman enough to admit that even her stalker Leonard won't watch it.
MacLaren's; Interior: Ted and Barney can't believe the rest of the gang is all smoking outside. We flashback to a smoke-filled (I mean -- like The Fog) MacLaren's as the two reminisce about the days when you could smoke in a bar. Great sight-gag. My favorite part is when Marshall tries to find them by calling "Marco," and they answer "Polo." Back in the current day, Ted laments the fact that they're splitting up into smokers vs. non-smokers and it's just not healthy. Barney agrees. So they do the reasonable thing -- they run outside and join the smokers. Cue Ted's kids in 2030: "WHAT?!"
Outside, when Robin pronounces the two guys "smokers," just like the rest of them, Barney tries to put on the brakes. "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. I am not a smoker. I only smoke in certain situations: post-coital; when I'm with Germans (sometimes those two overlap); coital; birthdays; to annoy my mom; pre-coital; on a sailboat; the day the Mets are mathematically eliminated every year; and, of course, wait for it -- 'cause Lord knows I have -- pregnancy scares." Ted asks why he's smoking right now. Barney inhales. "I'm always pre-coital, Ted." Duh. Lily rationalizes that at least they're out in the fresh air. Barney adds that his smoker's cough is working his abs. As the gang dissolves into a coughing fit, Saget!Ted narrates that within a week, they all hit their breaking point.