Comic-Con Live-Blog: CBS' 'The Big Bang Theory'
I've never live-blogged a Comic-Con panel for "The Big Bang Theory" before. But they're usually quite fun. So let's see how this goes... Worst that happens? I won't live-blog next year's "BBT" Comic-Con panel...
12:36 The panel is introduced -- "Welcome, everybody, to the Comics-Con -- by Howard Wolowitz's mom. She introduces a blooper reel from seasons past. It turns out that the show's stars have difficulties talking with their mouth full. Jim Parsons breaking is quite charming and Kaley Cuoco breaking is kinda adorable. Shocking, I know.
12:40 p.m. Chuck Lorre comes out first. I wonder if he's seen as many Charlie Sheen-related t-shirts around the Con as I have. Lorre is joined by Bill Prady and Steve Molaro on the production side. In terms of stars, it's Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons (with long hair and a hint of a mustache), Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg (bearded and filming us), Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik (the crowd LOVES Blossom) and Melissa Rauch (very Kristen Bell-esque without her glasses on).
12:43 p.m. Chris Hardwick is moderating this one as well.
12:44 p.m. Chris Hardwick seems to think the media didn't recognize "Nerd Culture" before "Big Bang Theory." But wait. "I don't think we were doing a show about Nerd Culture. We were doing a show about people we liked," Bill Prady says, while Lorre says it's about "extraordinary people," not nerds. "For those of us who are members of a particular group, sometimes we don't see ourselves depicted on television and it was fun to be part of doing that," Prady adds.
12:46 p.m. What did the actors think when they first got the scripts for the show. "I really wanted to say these words that they had written for Sheldon," Parsons says, adding, "I really thought that if I could learn them, I'd be able to do that to their liking. And they did. They liked it and they hired me." Parson says, "I didn't try to make him sympathetic. I didn't try to garner any empathy for him," though he says that he always had empathy for and with Sheldon saying, "He is what he is. And he's a lovely fellow."
12:48 p.m. "Kaley digs nerds, too," Cuoco says in response to Hardwick's question about Penny's love for nerds. The crowd enjoys this pandering. "It's been unreal and we're just riding this wave as long as you let us," Cuoco says. Of last year's broken leg, "They worked around it and I hopped around and the writers were great and helped me out." Lorre instructs us to go look at the episodes where Penny spent time standing behind things.
12:50 p.m. Hardwick is buddies with Johnny Galecki. Lorre recruited Galecki before there was even a script. "It really wasn't until the first table read when I heard everybody do their thing that I thought, 'Now I get it,'" Galecki says. Is he referring to the original pilot or to the one CBS actually picked up?
12:52 p.m. Johnny and Jim are going head-to-head for an Emmy. Is there tension or physical altercations? "That's not the working environment we have. I don't head-butt."
12:52 p.m. Asked about last season's Bollywood number, Nayyar replies, "It was really cool shooting that scene with Melissa. She's a great dancer and a very good singer and very Indian... inside of her system. You know what I mean... Like, you know."
12:54 p.m. Does Simon Helberg get to do an improvising on "Big Bang Theory"? "No. I mean, how could we make up those lines? We'd have to be insane. I can't even imagine how they're written down." It's discussed that both Helberg and Rauch have dueling Mrs. Wolowitz impressions. "You don't want too many of those voices floating around the stage," Helberg says. They each do their impressions and there's little doubt that Rauch is the winner. "Face, Simon. She faced you," Hardwick says. "She's little, but she's strong," adds Helberg. "It's the Indian in me," Rauch says, providing the perfect capper. She has a background in standup comedy. Who knew?
12:57 p.m. Why, pray tell, did Mayim Bialik get a PhD? "I fell in love with biology when I was a teenager, when I was still working on 'Blossom,'" Bialik says. Did she audition for the show? "I'm sorry to admit that I'd never watched the show. I'd heard of it. I was told they wanted a female Jim Parsons and I said, 'Who is Jim Parsons?'" Apparently Bialik's resume just has her PhD listed under "miscellany." "That's where it goes. It doesn't go under TV or Film. It goes under miscellany," says Bialik, who admits that she gets a "twitch" whenever something in the script doesn't sound right.
1:00 p.m. What's going to come from last season's cliffhanger? "There will be a resolution and we think whichever way you came down on what happened, you'll be happy with how it works out," Prady says cryptically.
1:01 p.m. Jim Parsons hasn't continued his playing of the Theramin, but he says that he did his own musical stunts with the instrument. "I did, to the best of my ability, learn. I did that," Parsons says.
1:02 p.m. Kaley Cuoco doesn't know what TARDIS is or stands for. She's unapologetic.
1:02 p.m. Favorite moments? "My joke is usually that kissing Kaley was my favorite part of the season," Bialik says, but Amy's kiss with Sheldon was her actual favorite. I don't understand Jim's favorite. Kaley recalls the dancing scene in which a old man grabs her ass. Johnny actually references a Cuoco moment and a Rauch moment and a Nayyar moment. Good for him. Nayyar's favorite moment was being trained to properly sing the song for his Bollywood scene. Helberg's favorite moment was wrestling with Nayyar "On and off camera," and wearing the one-piece wrestling uniform and being sweet with Rauch. And Rauch lists the Penny/Sheldon acting lesson as her favorite scene, along with the New Year's Eve look between Leonard and Penny.
1:09 p.m. The first fan question is about when Sheldon is going to experience additional intimacy. "Sheldon seems singularly devoted to science," Bill Prady says, as he says every year.
1:10 p.m. Parsons gives a "Bazinga!" to a recently returned soldier.
1:11 p.m. What still challenges Parsons about Sheldon? "I don't know what he's talking about a lot of the time. That's what Mayim's for these days, which is actually sad but true," he says. Parson notes that because of the dialogue, it's hard for anybody to phone anything in.
1:13 p.m. Do they pull any nerdiness during down time? Nobody can think of anything. "I don't know if we're pranksters," Kaley says. "We make a lot of fun of each other," another castmember (I think Nayyar adds). The question comes from a first-time Comic-Con attendee and they all want to give her an answer, but they can't. "Oh Nancy. It's your first Comic-Con. You'll think of something better next time," Cuoco says.
1:15 p.m. Sara Gilbert won't be returning to "BBT" any time soon because of "The Talk." Sorry.
1:16 p.m. How was Amy Farrah Fowler developed? Specifically her love of double-entendres? "Mayim is a very sexual actress. She's a dirty, dirty girl. As writers, we try to write to the strengths of the actors," Lorre says. Prady clarifies that Sheldon and Amy both missed out on certain "normal" experiences growing up an he says, "The differences between Sheldon and Amy is that Amy games. Amy wants to have the experiences she didn't have." Bialik describes it as a suspended adolescence that Amy is in and adds, "Yes, I'm a very sexual actress."
1:18 p.m. "What was your favorite nerd encounter?" a fan asks the stars. "I think this is mind right now," Cuoco coos.
1:19 p.m. Galecki's first screen kiss was with Bialik, 20 years ago.
1:20 p.m. "I'm always surprised by the variety of people who are fans," Helberg says, recalling a confrontation with a giant tattooed man in a parking lot. "I ran over him," he says.
1:22 p.m. There was actually debate last year in the episode in which they said Sheldon's first kiss was with Amy, rather than with Leonard's mother. "As an actor, I count both of them and I'm honored to have done both of them. Kissed both of them..." Parsons says. "And then a child came up [to the podium]."
1:23 p.m. "Was it embarrassing singing 'Soft Kitty' and rubbing VaboRub on Jim?" a small child asks Kaley, who responds, "Madison, one day you'll learn to appreciate that." And Parson adds, "Frankly, it was more awkward for me. I had to bare flesh." They ask Madison if this was her first Comic-Con. "NO!" she says.
1:26 p.m. "Did the show help you find your way into the sciences? Then that's beyond our wildest dreams of cool things the show can do," Lorre tells a fan. "We like to say that 'Cheers' brought people to alcoholism and we bring people to the sciences."
1:27 p.m. Who is their favorite "villain" who has appeared on the show? "I didn't understand the question," Nayyar says. Helberg repeats the question in an Indian accent and Nayyar responds, "I love the way I'm half-Jamaican." Parson likes the frenemy status with Kripke, though he also loves having Wil Wheaton on set. Yes, Wil Wheaton gets a good round of applause and Hardwick tells people to sing the "Stand By Me" theme to him.
1:35 p.m. "Sheldon isn't autistic, he's Sheldon," a fan says, thanking the producers for not clearly declaring his status. But the next question has Parsons saying that his first grade teacher mom hears that it's good to see people like sheldon functioning in the world. Ultimately, though, Parsons just agrees that Sheldon is Sheldon
1:36 p.m. The last question? The obligatory, "How are you like your character?" query. "Every year, we get asked this question," Nayyar says. Everybody looks at him like he's being mean and Nayyar adds, "Just because I'm foreign, people don't get my intonation." To this, Helberg responds "Just because I'm foreign make a donation?" But on to semi-serious answers? "I live next door to people," Cuoco says. Rauch follows suit with, "Both myself and Bernadette are really short" and Galecki agrees, "I have that in common with your character, too."
That's all, folks...