As 'How I Met Your Mother' Deals With Death, Executive Producer 'Surprised by Amount of Shock'

7:35 PM PST 01/05/2011 by Bryan Alexander

Series co-creator Carter Bays tells THR, 'We've dealt with the happy moments. And a couple of the sad ones. This is one of the sad ones.'

Monday night's How I Met Your Mother turned deadly serious with the sudden death of Marshall's (Jason Segel) father — leading to a furious emotional outpouring on the internet.

Series co-creator Carter Bays says that he is still dealing with thrown-for-a-loop fans of the hit comedy.

"I'm surprised by the amount of shock." he tells The Hollywood Reporter. "It's funny that reaction. We've always showed the good and the bad as far as sitcoms can."

"We've dealt with the happy moments. And a couple of the sad ones. This is one of the sad ones."

While the sitcom has leaned toward pure comedy of late, Bays recalls historically there has been plenty of pain in Mother.

"If you look at the first series there were some extremely dark moments," he says. "Marshall being dumped and being left standing in the rain with an engagement ring. It was the saddest show ending ever."

Fans will have to wait until Jan. 17 to see how the death impacts the show. Bays says it will be profound, not just on the follow-up episode where Marshall "will grapple with his final moments with Dad." It will affect the show in general.

"It's an important moment," says Bays. "This will change a lot of things for everyone in the show."

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