Old King Clancy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Old King Clancy"
How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 18
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Written by Jamie Rhonheimer
Original air date March 23, 2009
Guest appearance(s)

Aaron Hill ("The Frozen Snowshoe")
Bryan Callen (Bilson)

Season 4 episodes

"Old King Clancy" is the 18th episode in the fourth season of the television series How I Met Your Mother and 82nd overall. It originally aired on March 23, 2009.


In the cold open, Future Ted describes his work in spring 2009 on the Goliath National Bank (GNB) headquarters. While he felt inspired when he started the project, including naturalistic features like wood beams and natural sunlight, Ted feels restricted by the executive supervising the project, Bilson (Bryan Callen). Eventually, a new task force is put together to supervise Ted, and he feels engaged again. But after an awkward pick-up attempt in the elevator, he is told the building was scrapped a month ago.

The gang is at MacLaren's when Robin brings up the fact that she was once invited over to a Canadian celebrity's house to see his collection, but, after he propositioned her to perform a profane Canadian sex act, Robin leaves. Lily is desperate for the specifics, and starts hyperventilating until she gets the hiccups. Robin says she will tell them the details if they guess all three things correctly (the celebrity, the sex act, and the nature of the collection). Barney quickly brings up www.canadiansexacts.org on a laptop, and the gang starts guessing.

Ted walks in, bewildered by the cancellation of his project and fearing that he is going to lose his job. After a brief exchange, Barney and Marshall admit they lied to Ted and reveal the elaborate nature of their ruse. Bilson had told them to fire Ted after the corporation decides to cut back on new expenditures (he complains about having to cut back on their bi-quarterly St. Croix retreats). The company was still contracted to pay Ted for the next two months, so after Marshall blurted out a lie about Ted's success, the two GNB employees decided to fool Ted. They hired a cafeteria worker, a janitor, a street musician, and interns to pose as the new task force for reviewing the headquarters plans.

Ted is furious, insisting that he would never lie to make his friends feel better. Barney refutes this, citing the time Ted encouraged Marshall's lame stand-up set (basically a list of fishes' names). Barney then mentions that a smaller job is available at GNB designing a copy of the ETR, or "Employee Transition Room" which Barney admits is a room where people are fired. A montage of closed-circuit television footage from the room shows angry employees lashing out at Barney after he fires them on the spot.

Though he is asked to simply duplicate the room, Ted decides to add his own flair, recreating the ETR as a "rebirth canal". After a presentation to Bilson, Ted is taken down to the ETR, where he himself is promptly fired. The next night, back at the bar, Ted announces that he was fired from GNB and hit Bilson over the head with a chair. He then claims he quit from his firm to start his own firm. After a bit of prodding, he quickly admits he was fired there, too. Nevertheless, Ted still wants to start his own business, without the noose of corporate thinking.

Throughout the story, Lily and the gang use the pauses in conversation to guess Robin's celebrity encounter (e.g., Canadian celebrity Rick Moranis, the “Reverse Rick Moranis” [Canadian sex act], and an antique Judaica collection). After three days, they give up and Robin tells them, but the items are all unrecognizable to the gang, so she has to explain. She met "The Frozen Snowshoe" (a famous Canadian wrestler), who showed her his collection of Harvey's Trays (simple orange plastic trays from a fast-food chain), and offered her an "Old King Clancy" (a "Sacramento Turtleneck" with maple syrup). The gang is disappointed at the absolute obscurity of Robin's story.

In a flashback, Robin's 2002 celebrity meeting is portrayed, but the viewer finds out that it was she who offered the Snowshoe the Old King Clancy (pulling a small bottle of maple syrup out of her purse), and it was he who rejected her, not the other way around.


Old King Clancy is based on a true story. One of the show writers told of an incident involving a friend who had met an American celebrity with a strange collection and also a strange sex proposition. The writers tried to guess who it was, what they collected and the sex act. After spending a lot of time on it they decided to incorporate the idea into the show.[1]

Critical response[edit]

Donna Bowman of the AV Club gave the episode a B rating.[2]

Michelle Zoromski of IGN gave the episode an 8.5 out of 10, citing the episode's ability "to stay light, even while dealing with topics like Ted losing his job."[3]


  1. ^ Maureen Ryan (2009-04-10). "How 'How I Met Your Mother' dealt with 2 pregnant stars, and what's coming next on the comedy". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-04-12. 
  2. ^ How I Met Your Mother "Old King Clancy" B by Donna Bowman March 23, 2009 http://www.avclub.com/articles/old-king-clancy,25627/
  3. ^ How I Met Your Mother "Old King Clancy" review by Michelle Zoromski March 24, 2009 http://tv.ign.com/articles/965/965766p1.html

External links[edit]