Last night I was thinking about how incredible it is that, though I have been watching the sitcom How I Met Your Mother for seven years, it is still able to affect me with an emotional beat. While the main cast members' performances and the show's stellar writing are surely leading factors, I feel like How I Met Your Mother's most effective tool is its secret weapon.
Yes, Bob Saget, aka Danny Tanner, aka the original face of America's Funniest Home Videos, aka that really crass comedian. Saget provides narration throughout How I Met Your Mother from the future perspective of the main character, Ted. The show's concept is that future Ted is telling his children the rambling story of how he met their...duh...mother. Saget has never appeared on camera on the show, but he has narrated every episode. I think many people may not notice or have forgotten Saget's performance because he is such a natural presence on the show. However, without him, I honestly don't think How I Met Your Mother would still be on the air. Saget is the heart of the show. You can't see him, but without him, How I Met Your Mother dies.
In the show's yet to be determined final episode, the show-runners have announced that future Ted will be voiced by Ted actor, Josh Radnor, instead of Saget. I think that is a fine idea. It symbolizes that future Ted is now the Ted we see. It also brings home the point I made in the previous paragraph:
when Saget is gone, the show is over.