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POLITICS

'How I Met Your Mother' actor calls lobbying Congress 'super depressing'

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Yeas and Nays,Politics,Congress,TV,Nikki Schwab

Even though his show, "How I Met Your Mother," was revealing a major new character during Monday night's season finale, actor Josh Radnor wasn't watching.

Radnor, who plays Ted Mosby on the CBS sitcom, was instead in Washington, discussing his Jewish faith, among other things, at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. "That's the big reveal, that's the big twist in the series -- Ted is half-Jewish, played by a full Jew," Radnor laughed. "See, I'm a transformational character actor -- I'm playing a half-Jew," he added. (He really did delve into serious religious stuff, too, even sharing a prayer he wrote with the crowd.)

Radnor also talked about his last trip to D.C. for last month's White House Correspondents' Dinner. "What a weird trippy night that was," he noted.

Before the big dinner, Radnor was part of the Creative Coalition's group who lobbied Congress for arts funding on Capitol Hill. "And nothing was more dispiriting than that," said Radnor. "We talked mostly to people who were sympathetic to our cause and they were like, 'Ohhh yeah, that's not going to happen -- do you want a picture?' It was so depressing." Radnor also didn't like how the argument for federal tax dollars was framed. "You can't express any sort of ... what it means to be whole human beings. We don't want automaton workers, we want actual innovators -- you have to say, 'Every federal dollar spent on art comes back $7 in tax revenue,' " he explained. "You have to put it in jobs creation numbers or they won't even approach it -- it was super depressing."

As "How I Met Your Mother" is slated to last only one more season, Radnor has turned his talents to directing and (maybe) back to Broadway. "I can't give details, but I think I'm going to do a musical on Broadway in 2014," he said. "Don't quote me on this, but it's supposed to happen."

He also talked about what it's like to have his career so associated with his character, Ted. "I actually saw Matthew Perry that weekend at the White House Correspondents' Dinner and I asked him, 'How did you do with the Chandler thing?' " said Radnor. "It's also a very curious thing because it gave you everything, but also you have to establish some credibility outside of it."

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