Jul 29, 2014

How I Met Your Mother Makes an East Meadow Connection

Two of the show's writers, Craig Gerard and Matt Zinman, once called East Meadow home.

How I Met Your Mother Makes an East Meadow Connection

When Lily and Marshall from "How I Met Your Mother" moved to East Meadow last season, many locals were wondering how the show's producers came up with that idea.

It turns out two of the show's writers, Craig Gerard and Matt Zinman, both 29, are originally from East Meadow.

East Meadow Patch recently caught up with the duo to discuss how "How I Met Your Mother" made its way to East Meadow.

Patch: Did you go to school in East Meadow? If so, where?

Craig Gerard: We both went to and But I went to the superior elementary school while Matt went to  

Matt Zinman: Have to disagree with calling Barnum Woods "superior." Once that playground went down, any upside it had went with it.

Patch: How did you end up working on HIMYM? And how long have you been working for HIMYM?

Gerard: We basically won the lottery to end up here. I was working as an assistant on another show that was canceled and my bosses from that show were hired on HIMYM and took me with them. So I've actually been with the show since season one when I was getting all the writers coffee and lunches and trying not to spill everything all over myself or my car. And failing.

Zinman: Craig was already an assistant on the show when a job opened up for me in season three. Thankfully, everyone there liked him enough that they wanted to give me a shot as well. Every day, we try and make them regret it.  

Patch: What other shows have you worked on?

Gerard: I worked on a show called "Listen Up" that was on for a season on CBS. 

Zinman: My first job was on a show that is still on called "CSI: Miami."  But, I wanted to work in comedy and not drama so I then jumped ship to a show called "Still Standing." And then when that was cancelled, I worked on a show called "The Loop."

Patch: What's the best part of working on a television show like HIMYM?

Gerard: For me, it's a dream come true to sit in that writer's room with some of the funniest people in the world and try to come up with stories for characters that so many people care about. Every day is a blast and it's an honor to be a part of this show and we're very thankful for the opportunity. 

Zinman: I think the best part is that it doesn't really feel like a job. It's honestly a place that I love going to every day and have so much fun being at. The people that I've met and worked with here are the most amazing and talented people I've ever been around. The writing staff is essentially like an all-star team of comedy writers that have worked on pretty much every show that I watched and loved growing up.

Patch: Tell me about the East Meadow connection in HIMYM. How was that picked to be involved in the show?

Gerard: Matt and I are still close with a bunch of our friends from home, and of course, our families still live there. We're constantly talking about people and places from East Meadow and stories from when we were growing up.  So when Marshall and Lily were moving to the suburbs I think Carter and Craig (executive producers) just said they could be from East Meadow so we'd shut up.

Zinman: Craig pretty much summed it up. We honestly talk about East Meadow every day in the room so I really do think we just kind of inceptioned the idea into our bosses’ heads.

Patch: Tell me about the writing process. Does it get intense in meetings when ideas are being thrown around?

Gerard: The writing process can be intense but it's really a lot of fun. You sit in a room with a bunch of funny people and tell stories from your own lives and try to apply that to the characters. And when the story starts to take shape and your building on each other's ideas, it's pretty exciting. I spend the majority of my day laughing so it's tough to call it a job. 

Zinman: It definitely can be, but we are with just such a great group of people here that it rarely if ever gets to that. Mostly, we are just telling stories to each other about what's happening in our own lives and hoping in some way that that can help lead us to a story with the characters on the show.

Patch: What's the one thing you miss about East Meadow?

Gerard: I miss my family and my friends. I guess those are two things. And if I'm going to name two things then I might as well name four: the bagels and the pizza. It's a cliché but it's true. 

Zinman: Definitely have to say the people. My family and a lot of my friends are there and it's always a blast to go back home and see them. Another big thing is just being around people that like the same sports teams as you. It's kind of a mess out here in LA with that.  

Patch: Where were your favorite places to go when you lived in East Meadow?

Gerard: , , and the are the big ones I miss. Those are my first stops whenever I'm home.  

Zinman: I lived right by the so I'd have to say that (e. coli scare or not).  And every time I'm home I always head over to Figarelly's Deli for a sausage, egg and cheese sandwich.

Patch: You know you're from East Meadow when...

Gerard: You pass the Little League fields and wish you could still play for the Mustangs. 

Zinman: You can stand in one place and see three 7-Eleven's.

What do you think about "How I Met Your Mother's" East Meadow connection? Tell us in the comments.

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