SAN DIEGO - CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" has come a long way from its first "Why is that sitcom doing a Comic-Con panel?" appearance in San Diego to Friday (July 13) afternoon's visit to a packed Hall H.
I know "The Big Bang Theory" isn't the first TV comedy to panel in Hall H -- "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" was there just last year -- but I'm prepared to go out on a limb [without doing an iota of research] to say that this is the first time a multi-cam TV comedy has had a Hall H panel.
Prove me wrong!
Or, alternatively, just follow along with my live-blog.
12:09 p.m. I've heard rumors that there's big news coming out of this panel. I have no idea what that means...
12:10 p.m. Uh-oh. Johnny Galecki is still in transit. Sorry. Emmy-nominee Johnny Galecki. He's probably not making it. But Adam Savage from "MythBusters" is our moderator. So... That's on-topic.
12:11 p.m. Gag reel from the DVD. Apparently Jim Parsons smiling makes people crack up.
12:13 p.m. It's very loud and enthusiastic in here. And Adam Savage is at the podium with a little Johnny Galecki stuffed animals.
12:15 p.m. We have Mayim Bialik, Jim Parsons (via satellite from NYC), Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar, Simon Helberg and Melissa Rauch.
12:15 p.m. Highlights from last season? Chuck Lorre says it was everybody watching Wolowitz's take-off into space. Bill Prady says his favorite moment was getting a call from Leonard Nimoy. Bialik liked meeting Stephen Hawking, but also when Sheldon took Amy's hand. Parson likes the general investigation of the Amy-Sheldon relationship. "It was very fun to see where that's going, however slowly that may be," Parsons adds. We all cheer Parsons being the star of "Harvey" on Broadway. Lorre asks if there are tickets left. "I can get a few," Parsons says nervously. Cuoco agrees with Lorre's highlight, saying she cried every time they read or rehearsed the scene. Nayyar agrees. "Everyone's favorite scene is the one I wasn't in," Helberg says, though he says his own highlight was doing a Stephen Hawking impression in front of Stephen Hawking. Many people appear to have been awed by Dr. Hawking. Melissa Rauch agrees on the final scene.
12:20 p.m. How was it having Leonard Nimoy on the show. "I shared a bathroom with him... I'm just saying," Rauch says. "I can tell you that Bill Prady lost his mind," says the producer whose name I can't remember. Everybody makes fun of Bill Prady's enthusiasm, including jumping over a railing to greet him.
12:20 p.m. What is it like shaking Stephen Hawking's hands. "You're connected with such a remarkable person and that he wanted to come watch a run-through was just amazing. He has a wicked sense of humor. He'll make you wait for an answer..." says Prady.
12:23 p.m. Our first question is from a guy dressed like Wolowitz. He's chided in a good-natured way by the cast. His question, not surprisingly, is for Simon. He asks how Simon fits into the tight costume. "At the very beginning, it did require assistance," Helberg says, claiming he got wardrobe ladies in to take his pants off. "It's exciting every week to open my dressing room and see what's hanging there. I won't make a bad joke about things hanging. It's a lot of sucking in and praying," he says.
12:25 p.m. A questioner from Mexico asks if they really get all of the references on the show. Everybody looks to Kaley. Apparently she struggles with correctly doing the "Live Long and Prosper" sign. Indeed, her hands really won't make the sign. Her pinky and ring finger go forward in a kinda weird way. It's charming and sad and just a little hot.
12:25 p.m. A questioner asks Jim if he's a man or a Muppet. "I'm a man," he says, though he calls it "appropriate casting."
12:25 p.m. Will Raj find love now that Howard has gotten married? "I'm falling in love with Siri. I don't really know how far we can go," Nayyar says, but Prady and Lorre promise that Raj has romance coming.
12:26 p.m. The panelists are asked to sing "Soft Kitty" in a round. Melissa is asked to start. They don't sing individually, but split into two groups, they successfully pull off the round. That was also charming, especially with Parsons doing a round on satellite. "Yay!" Parsons says.
12:28 p.m. Crossover with "Two and a Half Men"? "Yeah. Sure. We'll get right on that," Lorre says, before joking that they've thought it was funny to get one of the guys to tutor Jake.
12:29 p.m. Spider-Man asks them a nerdy question about whether or not Magneto can lift Thor's hammer. Kunal pretends not to know who Thor is. Nut nobody answers.
12:30 p.m. A smile child takes the mic. Kaley points and says, "You have a little mohawk! Yeah, you do!" He asks why Sheldon likes the Flash. Bill Prady explains that Sheldon was picked on as a kid and he liked a superhero who was really good at running away.
12:31 p.m. Is Penny going to continue her geekification? Prady says that Kaley is a big "Game of Thrones" fan, so she's becoming geekier. She says "Jon Snow," and sighs.
12:31 p.m. Who has the same personality traits as their character? "I have personality traits of Sheldon's character," Bialik says. "I love next-door to people," Kaley says. "Yeah," she laughs at her own joke. Again, kinda adorable. But nobody else answers.
12:32 p.m. Why do the characters always get take-out? "We are very busy, just thinking and creating things and changing the world around you, so we don't have time to cook," Parsons says.
12:35 p.m. A questioner says she's been thinking about the Higgs-Boson particle and she wants to know if the discovery will be integrated into the show. Everybody looks to Kaley. "You and me both sister. I can't stop thinking about it," she says.
12:34 p.m. Was Parsons good at science in school? "No, not particularly," Parsons says, noting that he had an interest in meteorology, though he failed the class.
12:35 p.m. What are their favorite lines? Rauch, who sounds nothing at all like Bernadette, says that all of her favorite lines come from Mrs. Wolowitz. Then Rauch launches into her truly excellent Mrs. Wolowitz impression, which she also did last year. Simon can't remember any lines, but he enjoys the exchanges with Mrs. Wolowitz. "It's fun to let out all of my frustrations in life at that lady," he says. Nayyar likes saying words that start with "p." Cuoco likes the "Penny, Penny, Pennys" at the door with Sheldon. Parsons likes when Sheldon picks up vernacular. Bialik likes, "It's a tiara."
12:38 p.m. Does Kaley go to the Cheesecake Factory and is a big deal? "I haven't been there in a long time," she says. Apparently she went a couple years ago and got a lot of looks. "Days later I was like, 'Oh! That's why,'" she says. "It's like when I go to space," Helberg chips in.
12:42 p.m. Oh. A little girl asks "Katie" how is was. On the set. Kaley says they have a great time on the set. "We play ping-pong and we talk occasionally," Cuoco says. "What's the median age? Everyone's eight-years-old here today," Nayyar says. Indeed, the next questioner is a kid dressed as The Doctor. She challenges all of them to "a nerd battle." "We need to talk about screening the questions," Lorre says. "Where is everyone's parents?" Nayyar says. And the next questioner? Also a small child. He wants to know... ummm... Something. He wants to know, I think, if they'd ever do a virtual presence appearance like Parsons is doing. "These kids are young to be so drunk," Helberg says.
12:43 p.m. "I'm just a professional... Did he say 'flacid'?" Parsons says in response to a question about how he keeps such a "placid" expression.
12:43 p.m. The Lego Death Star from Lorre's vanity card took a group of assistants weeks. "I think there were breakdowns around that Death Star," Lorre says.
12:45 p.m. Kaley is asked whether Johnny or Kunal is a better kisser. "Well, I've kissed Johnny a lot more, but Kunal was good... It was like kissing my brother," she says. "You kissed your brother?" Simon responds.
12:45 p.m. "I think she's just like Cher. She just goes by one name," Cuoco says of Penny's Lack-of-Last-Name. "It's kinda now become a whole thing," she adds. The producers suggest it could be the big reveal in the finale
12:47 p.m. Where does Helberg see himself in 10 or 15 years as an actor? What are his aspirations? "Boring," Kunal says. "Working as far away from this guy as I can," Helberg says, before saying that he's excited to do different things, but he wants to work with a company as good as the one he's current with. "Hopefully it will take me back here to Comic-Con," he says.
12:48 p.m. Would Helberg go to space if he could? "Yeah," he says. But they have a surprise for Simon. They call an astronaut named Richard Seafross to the stage. "Am I being deported?" Simon says. Richard is working with a company that is helping to send ordinary people to space and he invites Simon to join him going into orbit. And now we're going to watch a promotional video. "Oh my God," Kaley says. It's the Lynx Experience and we're getting the promo for.
12:51 p.m. Is this the big surprise press was promised? Hmmm... "I didn't know you were serious," Helberg says, before saying that altitude gives him gas. He hems and haws and... Guess what?!?! It's a thing. Helberg isn't going and somebody who asked a question or had a hand stamp will get the chance to win. Not the kids, though. They each get an envelope. Each envelope contains a prize, but only one is going into space. "Wouldn't it be horrible if this were all a joke?" Cuoco cracks.
12:54 p.m. The winner will get to wear a spacesuit. "They can totally wear that to Comic-Con next year," Cuoco says. But apparently the winner doesn't actually get to bounce around weightless. Richard Seafross is doing an awful job of making this sound cool. Three... two... one... The winner is... The girl who asked Kaley about kissing Kunal and Johnny. Her name is "Mercedes."
That's all, folks...