How I Met Your Mother is a sweet sitcom saddled with a slowly gestating, not always all that interesting framing device: the hunt for the mother. But not if it were up to Jason Segel! In an interview with GQ, he explains his three, much darker visions for the series. (They're not bad!):
Interviewer: You want to know my theory? We're going to find out at some point that the mother's dead. And adult Ted has been telling them all these stories about the mother they never knew. It'll retroactively cast the entire show in this dark-comic light.
Segel: [without missing a beat] I suggested that also.
How was that received?
Scoffing. They don't care about what I say. [laughs] I had two other suggestions, too. One is that they're dead. The two kids and their father — they're dead, and they're in purgatory, and he's telling the story for eternity.
It's the worst punishment ever! They have to spend eternity listening to their dad's boring stories.
And then my other suggestion, which they never used, which I think would be so funny, is — it's the future, right? I think in one of those scenes, they should open the window, and it should be, like, a postapocalyptic wasteland outside. It should be like I Am Legend. Horrible mutants.
He's No Dummy [GQ]