And granted, How I Met Your Mother is not your typical sitcom. Here's the Chicago Tribune:
A lot has been written about the supposed demise - and even the comeback - of the half-hour comedy on network television. Traditional sitcoms, we’re often told, are too stodgy and predictable and are just not cutting it anymore, while “single-camera” comedies such as “The Office, “My Name Is Earl” and “30 Rock” are all the rage.How I Met Your Mother is unique show and it has a unique problem. Ted's future wife could be any number of women who've gone through his life--or some mysterious, yet unmet person. The problem How I Met Your Mother faces is that whoever the mother is will have to have a strong on-screen presence--strong enough to stand on equal footing with actors/actresses we've seen onscreen for years. This trumps even the problem with Castaway: we have Tom Hanks alone on camera for almost two hours and only maybe twenty minutes of the wife, yet she's supposed to hold the audience. In the case of Castaway it worked, because of Helen Hunt. I have to argue that How I Met Your Mother will need an equally strong, if not stronger, presence to introduce the mother.
But the line between “30 Rock” and “HIMYM” is not that distinct. Just as “Ugly Betty” isn’t quite a comedy and isn’t just a drama, “HIMYM” is something of a hybrid.
For one thing, some “single-camera” shows use more than one camera at a time. And though “HIMYM” does have a laugh track, the fact that the laughs (from a studio audience that watches a tape of the show) are put in after filming means the comedy is not “a slave to the audience” as executive producer Greg Malins says.
But that said, here are some quotes from everyone's favorite skirt chaser:
(Barney talking about how easy it is to run a marathon)
Barney: "Step 1: You start running. There is no Step 2."
(Talking about Barney's dating strategies)
Ted: These strategies ever work for you?
Barney: The question is: Do these strategies ever NOT work for me? Either way the answer is about half the time
(Lily asks Barney to come with her for wedding dress shopping)
Barney: I can’t go, I’ve got this thing….
Lily: What thing?
Barney: ...a penis.
Lily: Marshall and I are just growing up.
Marshall: And it's gonna be sweet, too. Like tonight, we're tasting all these different wines, pairing them up with these cool, gourmet cheeses.
Barney: Wow. Who knew being in a committed heterosexual relationship could make a guy so gay.
(Ted talks about visiting a girl and her family)
Barney: Did you sleep with her sister?
Barney: Did you sleep with her mom?
Barney: I'm losing interest in your story
Ted: Why are you sleeping in our tub?
Barney: The porcelain keeps the suit from wrinkling.
Lily: Wait, were you here when I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night?
Barney: Don't worry, I slept through it. I totally didn't sleep through it. For a little girl, you've got a big tank.
(talking about Carl the bartender)
Lily: These look kinda like blood.
Marshall: OK, I know that you've all dismissed this theory before, but is there any chance that Carl is a vampire?
Barney: That's ridiculous.
Marshall: I'm serious. Think about it. He always wears black, we never see him in the daylight, only after dark.
Robin: Oh my God, that does describe a vampire, or you know, a bartender.
[Barney just discovered he did not sire a baby with his latest conquest and tells Marshall about it]
Barney: Marshall, great news: I'm not a father.
Marshall: Congratulations. [Shakes Barney's hand]
Barney: I know, this is the happiest moment of my life! Marshall, the way I feel about not having kids. I never knew I could love something this much. That's why, I'm creating a holiday. From now on, today will be known as "Not A Father's Day"!
Marshall: Wow, you're creating a holiday.
Barney: Why not? Everybody gets a day - mothers, fathers, Bastille's...why can't there a be a day for those who are single and like it that way?