Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.
TV URBAN LEGEND: How I Met Your Mother created an actual Canadian Sex Acts website.
Like many other long-running sitcoms, the longer How I Met Your Mother remained on the air, the more pieces of continuity and little in-jokes the show collected.
However, the creators of How I Met Your Mother, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, along with their writing staff, seemed to have even more of an affinity for in-jokes and hidden details than most shows. In the past, we’ve covered how they worked in an insult of the show by star Jason Segel into an actual episode of the show and how they hid an actual wedding proposal in an episode. The area, though, where they put a whole lot of attention behind was websites. Did the show seriously create a website explaining various Canadian Sex Acts?
The whole thing began in a late third season episode of How I Met Your Mother called “The Bracket,” where someone is sabotaging Barney (Neil Patrick Harris)’s attempts at seducing women. His friends get together and goes over his past flings to see who would be the most likely suspects (they created a bracket, like a March Madness Tournament bracket, to decide – the episode was released in March of 2008 on CBS, and CBS hosts the March Madness Basketball Tournament every year).
One of the top contenders is a woman who Barney told that his name was Ted Mosby. Ted, of course, is the lead character of the series (played by Josh Radnor). She started a website called tedmosbyisajerk.com. The show made a real website at that address from the perspective of the character on the show, detailing all the bad things “Ted” did to her. The website is still live (as is the response website Ted started, tedmosbyisnotajerk.com).
The gag went over well, so the show began doing a number of these fake/real websites in the fourth season of the show. That brings us to an episode from the end of the fourth season, almost exactly a year after “The Bracket.” It was called “Old King Clancy” and it was based around the concept of Robin (Cobie Smulders) having once been propositioned by a Canadian celebrity to come to his home to look at the unique items that he collected and once there, he asked her to perform a strange sexual act. So the rest of the episode, her friends try to figure out who the celebrity was, what his collection was and what the sex act.
The whole thing was based on an actual story that happened to one of the members of the show’s writing staff. As the Chicago Tribune reported:
Having been told the story — about a real (American) celebrity with a strange collection and also a strange sex proposition — the writers spent days using a white board trying to figure out who it was, what the person collected and what the sex act was. “After not getting work done for all this time, it was like, ‘Wait, why don’t we do this?'” as an episode of the show, Thomas said.
Anyhow, so Barney quickly pulls out his laptop and goes to canadiansexacts.org and the gang start making suggestions for which sex act the celebrity used.
In the end, it turns out to be “Old King Clancy,” which is a “Sacramento Turtleneck,” but just with maple syrup and the celebrity was a fictional Canadian professional wrestler (fast food trays was the collection). After the episode ends, though, we flash back to the actual incident and it turns out that it was ROBIN who propositioned the wrestler, not the other way around (she had a bottle of maple syrup in her purse).
So did they really do a Canadian Sex Acts website?
Yes, but not in the way that you might think. canadiansexacts.org does exist, and it presents itself as an “Adult’s Only” website, but once you get inside, if you click on any of the terms, like Reverse Rick Moranis, Montreal Meatpie, Saskatoon Totem Pole or Musty Goaltender, you get an error message. The error messages are all photos of Canadian celebrity Alan Thicke (who appeared a number of times on How I Met Your Mother) in humorous scenes.
Very clever stuff by the show.
The legend is…
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