CHARLOTTE, NC, January 3, 2018: As the new year unfolds, Myth Trivia takes a look at some of the interesting little-known facts about one of television’s most popular series, “The Big Bang Theory.”
Big Bang: Leonard Hofstader and Sheldon Cooper
The program is based on four geeky scientists who have become friends while working at Cal Tech. Two of the pals, Leonard Hofstader and Sheldon Cooper are roommates who live across the hall from a beautiful blonde wannabe actress named Penny.
Leonard immediately falls for Penny in the first episode and struggles to have a relationship with her for several years before they eventually do get married.
The other two main characters during the first years of the program are Howard Wolowitz and Rajesh (Raj) Koothrappali who are also close personal friends as well as part of the “nerd squad” foursome.
Big Bang: Bernadette Rostenkowski and Amy Farrah Fowler
In later episodes, other regular characters have been added to include Bernadette Rostenkowski and Amy Farrah Fowler. There are also several recurring roles such as Stuart Bloom the comic book store owner, Wil Wheaton of “Star Trek: The Second Generation”, Barry Kripke who is Sheldon’s arch-rival, Zack Johnson the former boyfriend of Penny along with other familiar characters such as Sheldon’s mother and sister, Raj’s sister, Leonard’s mother, Penny’s father, Bob Newhart in the role of Professor Proton and Steven Hawking as himself.
With that as background, here are some of the more interesting unknown facts about the show.
Big Bang: He is only the Piano Player
Although Howard is a professional piano player in real life, three other cast members had to learn how to play instruments for different episodes. Leonard learned to play the cello while Amy took harp lessons and Sheldon had to learn the theremin and recorder. The theremin is one of the most difficult instruments to play.
While the four male friends are all PhDs on the show, Mayim Bialik, who plays Amy, is the only cast member who has her doctorate in real life. Bialik is a doctor of Neuroscience.
Most of the characters on the show have a particular quirk of some sort. In early episodes, Raj cannot talk to women unless he has been drinking. In fact, the condition is based upon the real-life affliction of Executive Producer Bill Prady when he was working at a computer company.
Big Bang: Barry Kripke as Elmer Fudd
Regular viewers are well aware of Barry Kripke’s speech impediment. What they might not know is that it is the same condition as that of Warner Brothers cartoon character, Elmer Fudd.
Big Bang’s two main characters, Sheldon and Leonard are named after the late television producer Sheldon Leonard. Furthermore, Leonard’s last name, Hofstader, is a reference to two well-known scientists: Robert Hofstader, the Nobel Laureate in Physics (1961), and his son Douglas R. Hofstader who did research on consciousness and cognition.
Son Douglas published a best-selling book in 1979 about philosophy, mathematics, puzzles, art, and music. The book “Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid” won a Pulitzer Prize in 1980 for general non-fiction.
There’s more, however.
Big Bang: Nobel Laureates
The names Sheldon, Leonard, Cooper, and Hofstader all appear on the list of Nobel Laureates in Physics. Sheldon and Cooper won for theory, while Leonard and Hofstader won for experiments.
Further scientific credentials of note are the result of a Brazilian biological team that announced the name of a newly-discovered species of orchid bee in 2013. Calling it “Euglossa bazinga” in honor of one of Sheldon’s favorite catchphrases on the show, “Bazinga.”
In his response to the title, Executive Producer Steven Molaro wrote,
“Sheldon would be honored to know that Euglossa bazinga was inspired by him. In fact, after Mothra (1961) and griffins, bees are his third-favorite flying creature.”
With the exception of the pilot, the title of every show references a genuine specific scientific episode or theory. In addition, every equation used on the boards in various episodes are actual physics equations that have been verified by consulting physicists.
Big Bang: Autotroph
In the theme song, there is a line which says, “Autotrophs began to drool” which is an inside science joke. The word “autotroph” means “self-nourishing” referring to life-forms that create their own food internally and therefore do not need to eat.
In one episode, Sheldon invents a particular time of day which he calls “pre-evening.” The truth is that Turkey, Bengali, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria already actually have something called “pre-evening.”
Some of the more trivial aspects of “Big Bang” trivia include; Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon, has never seen a single episode of “Star Trek” or “Doctor Who”, most of the time Leonard has no lenses in his glasses, for superstition reasons Penny’s last name has, and supposedly never will be, revealed, Sheldon’s comfort song “Soft Kitty” is based upon an Australian children’s song and like snowflakes, no two bumpers between scenes are ever exactly alike.
About the Author:
Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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