If you've ever used the phrase "legen -- wait for it -- dary" in conversation, it was probably Craig Thomas' fault. Along with Carter Bays, Thomas has created the hip and charming ensemble comedy How I Met Your Mother and given the world such wonderful things as Robin Sparkles, Barney and the Slutty Pumpkin... just to name a few. The show recently kicked off its fourth season, and while there's no Britney drawing in big attention right now, there's plenty of other great stuff happening. We sat down right before the second episode aired, to talk to the enthusiastic Thomas about the show, his favorite catchphrases and we were pleasantly surprised that the to find out that he's a big fan of ours as well.
TWoP: Hi! Thanks for taking time out today.
Craig Thomas: No problem. I really like your site.
TWoP: Wow. Thanks so much.
CT: I've been a fan of it for a long time as a huge TV dork. I think I used to go on there for, among other things, Buffy, Angel, and maybe a little Veronica Mars. I definitely have looked at threads of multiple shows I dorked out on on your site, so when you guys added the forums for How I Met Your Mother it felt like a big accomplishment. We're fans ever since. It's a place where people go and have honest discussions, and they'll give the show shit if they don't like it and stuff but it's kind of thrilling if you go on there and see if people liked it, 'cause no one is pulling any punches on there. So it's cool, and I liked that.
TWoP: Do fan reactions play into how you write the show at all? Are you like "Oh god, the people online hate this"?
CT: Well, of course you want everybody to like it. I don't read it all the time, but it's nice to go on there and see how much continuity matters to people within the universe of a show. That's absolutely true for me, too. Whenever there's the slightest inconsistency in a Buffy episode or Friends or something, my wife and I would sit on the couch and throw stuff at the TV. Even when you watched Cheers and you'd see Frasier talking about how his dad passed away... it's such a bummer. Obviously, you can't fault Frasier for that, 'cause they didn't know what they were going to do [with a spinoff]. But the fact that people really care about that stuff, and want the universe to be coherent and consistent, I find that that's something I take away from reading the forums of TV Without Pity. When we're doing stuff in the writers room, I really try and remember that.