We just learned that Ted has been to an N’Sync concert. Have you?

[Laughs.] No. But I love that line. What did he say? “I caught JC’s shirt.”

Then what’s your own concert confession?

My first concert was UB40. Remember them? They played “Red Red Wine” like the second or third song. And after that it was kind of like, “Wait, why are we here?”

Did they play it again at the end of the show?

I kind of feel like maybe they did as an encore. [Laughs.]

How often are you listening to UB40 these days?

Not as much as you’d think. You’d probably think, “I bet that guy listens to a lot of UB40.”

That was the first thing I thought when I saw you.

I know, people always say that. But I listen to a lot less as the years go on.

Ultimately when we find out who is the mother of Ted’s children, do you think it will be more of a bombshell like Sofia Vergara, or someone more protective like Florence Henderson?

[Laughs.] Do you mean the actual Florence Henderson? ’Cause I think that would be a bombshell.

If this conversation informs some casting choices, that’s fine.

You know, I have no idea how they’re going to do that. Because of the title and because of the convention of the show they’ve really set everyone up for something. It could be a sweet, minor-key ending or it could be some sort of spectacular fireworks thing. I think what they’re such geniuses at is the rigging of the plot and this clever non-linear storytelling. I think whatever it is it will be less about the woman at the end and more about all the twists and turns leading up to it, which is essentially what the whole series is about.

My money’s on Angela Bassett and a twist about adoption.

All right. All right. [Laughs.] Vegas, you hear that?

Plus
Reader question from Katie Bussan Frey: “Who is the funniest cast member on ‘How I Met Your Mother’”?
“Well, I’ll tell you something, Alyson Hannigan is secretly one of the wittiest people I’ve ever met. She just comes out with these zingers that are so funny. Cobie [Smulders] sometimes starts laughing in the middle of a scene and gets us all laughing. That kinda gets us all worked up. Neil [Patrick Harris] in the scenes makes us laugh, and Jason [Segal] is, Jason is like truly one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. His sense of humor’s so odd. You’re never quite ahead of him; his jokes are always pretty surprising. So I don’t know, that was a little political, my answer. They’re all really super-funny.”
Listening to/on iPod right now: Cloud Cult; La Sara; Tennis; Betty Wright (who he saw on Jimmy Fallon the night before); The Belle Brigade; Local Natives
On Chicago: “Both of my sisters lived there for years. I really like Chicago. I still have a lot of friends there. I’m a Midwesterner so it’s kind of the big, urban Midwestern town. I got nothin’ but love for Chicago.”
His next script: “It’s about a guy who’s realizing how old he is. That’s all I’ll say. It’s again about growing up but from a little bit of an older perspective.”

mpais@tribune.com