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October 22, 2014

Poor Craig Thomas... all the power, none of the credit

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 22nd 2008 1:02PM
Craig ThomasSay you're a comedy writer. You toil away for years in the comedy writing salt mines. You write monologue jokes and little skits for Dave Letterman for years, while you and your best friend / writing partner pound the pavement in L.A. pitching a show about five friends in their twenties. You finally land the show, and produce three highly-acclaimed, if only moderately-watched, seasons. You're always on the bubble, stressing over everything from the medicated pop star you've hired to boost ratings to people asking you whether you're ever going to reveal the mystery invoked by the show's title.

You go through all this, and, if you're Craig Thomas, what do you get? Everyone calling you by your partner's name.

I can't tell you how many times I've seen commenters here and on other web sites refer to the How I Met Your Mother writing / show-running team, as "Carter and Bays" or "Carter/Bays." Folks, Carter Bays is only one person; he's Craig Thomas' friend and writing partner ever since they met in college. They worked on Letterman and American Dad together before landing the comedy haven that is HIMYM. But they're two separate people. I know, because I've met both of them (both are incredibly nice guys).

It's understandable how this can happen. Bays' first name is normally a surname -- we had a president with that last name, remember -- and it seems like "Carter and Bays" sounds more lyrical than "Bays and Thomas." Also, Carter seems to be the more out front of the two, doing interviews with us and others while Craig stayed in the background, where he seems to like it.

But I'm here to give Craig the credit he deserves. So, if you write about the producers of How I Met Your Mother again, here's a tutorial on the proper and improper ways to address the two of them:

Correct

"Bays and Thomas"
"Bays / Thomas"
"Bays & Thomas"
"Carter Bays and Craig Thomas"
"Carter and Craig"

Incorrect

"Carter and Bays"
"Carter / Bays"
"Carter & Bays"
"Carter Bays and Bays Carter"
"Bays and Carter"

Place this in front of your computer monitor, and you'll be set for all future HIMYM commenting endeavors.

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9 Comments

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Brian Erst

Thomas and Bays? What is this, an ad for English Muffins?

April 29 2008 at 11:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Karl rove

um are you friends with these guys, is that why the story is interesting to you and no one else?! i dont mean to be a bitch, but honestly who cares about 2 sitcom guys name mix-up. there has to be something much more interesting to write about HIMYM!

April 23 2008 at 5:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nattyff

OGM!!! im guilt of charge!!! i'm always reffer to the writer of HIMYM as carter and bays, THANKS, than will never happened again... Thomas and bays... just practicing :)

April 22 2008 at 7:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DK

Thomas/Bays sounds better than Bays/Thomas. Wow, is this what my life has become?

April 22 2008 at 4:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Edd

I feel really guilty now. I've been calling it How I met Your Brother for years.

April 22 2008 at 3:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tanya

Rutherford B. Hayes

April 22 2008 at 2:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
emily.

silly link stripping, here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_L._Thomas

April 22 2008 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
emily.

Funny, I thought he was this Craig Thomas.

April 22 2008 at 1:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David

The Keller brothers, staunch defenders of the rights of successful, rich Hollywood producers :D

April 22 2008 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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