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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.

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.

jtrain January 04, 2012 at 05:15 PM
wow-this guy misses taco bell?
emstrong January 04, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Seriously, taco bell? Are those not in L.A.? who is this guy?
Candice Giaccone Luca January 04, 2012 at 05:49 PM
East Meadow ROCKS! We make life long connections here as Craig & Matt clearly show. I went to high school with them and they were always hysterically funny and causing a scene. We all knew they would make it big some day. CONGRATS!! ~Candice
m mcfly January 04, 2012 at 06:03 PM
I agree East Meadow is excellent but this whole taco bell thing is weird. I looked it up for him. They have taco bells in LA. Taco Bell 1201 S Santee St Los Angeles Taco Bell 3029 West 8th Street Los Angeles
the french teacher January 04, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Does anyone know if this Taco Bell has different menu items then other taco bells? Why is it so special?
Michael Ganci (Editor) January 04, 2012 at 09:23 PM
@Dodes, Please keep comments respectful. Thank you.
Jess O January 04, 2012 at 09:39 PM
The east meadow taco bell is by far the best taco bell ever due to its ambiance. Having grown up on Jeffrey, I can testify to this. I (along with many of my contemporaries including Matt) ate many a meal there after school and seriously, its like no other taco bell anywhere. But maybe it's a generational thing.
Liz January 04, 2012 at 09:39 PM
I know Matt and was so happy to hear East Meadow made it on national TV....love the show...not Taco Bell, so much...but agree with Craig....bagels and pizza are New York staples....keep the show going...
Dodes, M January 04, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Sorry Ganci. Meant to post that on the East Meadow Bash Board. Great article.
Cindy McPhail January 05, 2012 at 12:40 AM
I worked at Taco Bell when they first opened. That was when you wrote the orders on a board and used your brain to add tax and give change. But I have to say, it was by far the best one. It was located on Front Street, and a block or two down was Friendly's mmmmmmm....
marianne krause January 07, 2012 at 05:10 AM
The only thing i have to say is that Parkway school was and always will be the better elementary school
Billy Weeble Staples Hine February 23, 2012 at 06:48 PM
I can't agree more than it must be a dream come true to have a job doing something you love. It seems unreal, it must feel effortless & you almost feel guilty for being paid, and from I've heard, pretty handsomely. I personally can not attest to that information. the Writers guild still will not take my calls!!!. As a fellow EMHS alum, I think it is so great to hear a couple guys who 'made it'. Jealous, no. Envious, you bet ya. Having been close enough 1 time to smell the coffee that they spill all over the car and the other writers, I can only imagine what a trip it has got to be. As Diddy says in the movie 'get Him to the Greek', its a Mind F&*%. Now I have to re-adjust the list on the most famous people to have come out of East Meadow High School. so Far this remains intact: 1- Frank Viola Major league pitcher 2- Joel Rifkin - serial killer and EMHS class of 1978 winner of 'Worst 1st Date', but did take home an award for shop class for skill using hand tools, saws and practicing their use as often as possible. His one bad mark in shop was for clean-up and organization. #'s 3-5 and now moving up towards the Top 10 are growing and is now an open and muddied field. Apparently time will be a significant factor and the appearance of even more amazing East Meadow Talent to show. List recognition may suffer if you are not considered as an individual, but as a pair, team or group, so that's something to keep in mind. Seriously, great work & congratulations guys.
Billy Weeble Staples Hine February 23, 2012 at 06:53 PM
PS: we all know the show is in LA, but please ask to try ant not have the cheesy 'typical suburbia street scenes', like they did in all the Amy Fisher and Joey movies. Please no exterior house views using the golden girls house!!!. NYPD Blue would come back to NYC and do some B roll for reality. Pleeeeeeze, for EM's sake. Get Fig's deli in there, Pizza King is gone, but Modell's is still here as well as the Empress diner...and even more 7-11's that you could even imagine!!!

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