CBS is finally showing a little love for one of the best comedies on television, How I Met Your Mother, by launching this countdown clock to the next Slap Bet. What is a Slap Bet? Only the greatest subplot ever. In last season's "Robin Sparkles" episode, Marshall didn't have any money to bet Barney on why Robin refused to go to the mall, so they agreed that the loser of the bet got a slap. There was some "premature slapulation" and Marshall ended up with five slaps, to dole out against Barney at any time from here to eternity. By the way, if you haven't seen the episode, please take some time to go over to this HIMYM MySpace website. It will get you hooked on the series.
Fans will remember that Marshall still owes Barney three slaps. Apparently the next one is coming in just about four months.
How do you fans feel, knowing exactly when another slap is coming?
So, Christmas in July is only a few short days away, and you don't know what to buy your friends (who will probably be wondering why the hell you're celebrating Christmas in July anyway). Fret not, holiday shopper, because I have the solution for you: Robin Sparkles Mall Tour t-shirts!
Yes, now you can relive those memories of your favorite Canadian pop star, who is now known as Robin Scherbatsky in the CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother, courtesy of Glarkware. The front of the shirt features a splashy maple leaf design while the back displays a list of Canadian malls (not slouches by any means, according to the website) that Sparkles toured during 1993. The shirt costs $20 (US), and comes in either girlie or unisex style. Make those purchases quickly because pre-ordering ends on July 31st.
It looks like Carter Bays, Craig Thomas and company have put together a pretty good package. Seven episodes will get audio commentary from the creators, as well as various writers and cast members, including fan (and personal) favorites from last year "Swarley," "Robin Sparkles," "Showdown," and "Single Stamina." It will also include the video for "Let's Go to the Mall," performed by Cobie ("Robin Sparkles") Smulders, a video for the show's theme song, "Hey Beautiful" by the Solids, four featurettes and an easter egg.
Why is it so funny? Hmmm. Let me count the ways. Uh... only because there's face-slapping. And Robin Sparkles. Those two elements alone make it legen...wait for it...dary!
Tonight, CBS will rerun what I thought was the funniest half-hour of TV in 2006: the "Slap Bet" episode of How I Met Your Mother. I'm not the only one who thought the episode was a high point of the 2006-07 television season, though: The Boston Globe thought it was the 2nd best episode of any show that aired in 2006. And Alan Sepinwall of the Newark Star-Ledger felt at the time that HIMYM made what he called "The Leap" after that episode, meaning that the ep had propelled the show to a higher quality level (though, like me, he later realized that it was more of a "high-water mark." And, also like me, he fell into the trap of comparing subsequent episodes to it).
What made the episode so great?
Decide for yourself. You can check out both videos after the jump.
So, let's start with the Good Stuff, and then do the Bad Stuff:
Carter Bays and Craig Thomas alluded to a few of the "slap bet" rules on the episode, but if you're curious what the complete and official rules are, they have created a set, which was forwarded to us by our friends at AOL TV. The rules are posted after the jump. Among the funnier ones: "When issuing a slap, the slapper must avoid lips and noses at all costs. The goal is for the palm of the slapper's hand to connect with the meaty part of the slappee's cheek thus providing utmost enjoyment and pain. If you're seeing handprint on cheek, you're doing something right."
Also after the jump is a video montage of the slaps from the episode. Hopefully, that will tie you over until new episodes start again on January 8.
... But the best part of the entire episode came at the end, when Robin revealed her dirty little secret, one that she didn't want anyone to know, including her beloved boyfriend Ted...
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