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How I Met Your Mother Recap: Monday Night Live

Let's face it: This episode was owned by Will Forte. His character Randy — a doofy GNB underling with a giant crush on Robin and nosebleeds for every boner — was first introduced all the way back in season three, and he made an unexpected return last night. Much like Will Arnett and his clueless jerk, Forte has over the years perfected a unique stock character — aggressively, bizarrely ineffectual, with just the right touch of potential-serial-killer flat affect — which he uses for almost everything without anyone really minding. So here's a suggestion: Seeing as MacGruber is off SNL, maybe Forte can now just bounce around from sitcom to sitcom as a glint-of-lunacy-injecting guest character?

Things started off right, with the whole gang in Halloween costumes and Barney referencing minor Jewish holidays (Tu Bsvhat Pajama Jammy Jam? Nicely done, HIMYM). Forte shows up in a lobster suit talking about brewing beers and wooing Robin. (He plays it cool, though: “What was her name? Gobin? Flobin?”) The next night the dudes are checking out the post-Halloween girls-still-in-slutty-costume walk of shame — and they spot sexy nurse Robin! Did she sleep with Randy?! Yes! Wait, no, not really — she was out shooting an adult-diaper commercial because her perky co-anchor Becky was getting all this attention for shooting a boat-expo commercial. Accept who you are, Robin, is the lesson, we think.

Elsewhere, Zoey, the Next Big Ted Mosby Love Interest That Won't Be the Mother Because, Come On, There's No End Date Announced for the Show Yet, returns, this time to infiltrate Ted's class and make his once loving pupils hate him. First, a nitpick: If you were protesting a building, would you really focus all your attention on making the architect's life miserable? Presumably the architect doesn't actually have any pull, right? And second, a tip of the hat: Ted's students loving him — and Ted loving that his students love him — again seems right for the character. And seeing a jerk version of Ted Mosby tell off Zoey was surreal yet soothing.

But let's get back to what's really important! Forte is now working directly for Marshall but keeps screwing up. Marshall finally fires him, which is good because now Randy can use the severance package to get his brewery (which he plans on naming after himself, Randy Wharmpess) off the ground — only Marshall's too nice, so he immediately regrets not giving him more of a chance and hires Randy back. Randy tries his damndest to get fired again, but Marshall refuses, until he tastes the Wharmpess and decides he's all about making dreams come true. It's a nice moment.

Anyway, our favorite Forte quotes: “Even in the shower the farthest we ever get is hugging”; “In my experience, twice shredded is fairly permanent”; “Not to brag, but in 29 takes I only threw up thrice.”

Photo: Matt Kennedy/FOX