Hello all! Chances are if you're reading this it means you, much like myself, are addicted to TV. You just can't ever get enough of that small screen action! Well, I'm here to tell you that I feel your pain and would like to help you in your noble quest for TV knowledge, which is why I've taken it upon myself to create this fun, weekly feature. Every week, I will dig up new and interesting facts about a show and share them with you right here. So sit back, relax, and let the trivia madness commence!
So let's start this week with a Bang, shall we? As in a Big Bang….as in 'The Big Bang Theory.' You wouldn't think a show surrounding the lives of nerdy geniuses would be such an epic success, yet it TOTALLY is. It's just impossible to get enough of these guys! (In fact, some of them even deserve their own spin-off series.) From "Soft Kitty" lullabies to Sheldon's constant use of the word "coitus," these hilarious characters never fail to hold our interest and actually make science seem kinda cool (a feat I would have never thought possible. Bazinga!). Yet, there's still so much to learn from this merry band of lovable misfits. Such as…
Did you know:
1. Leonard and Penny secretly dated in real life.
In the fall of 2010, Kaley Cuoco revealed to 'CBS Watch! Magazine' that she and her 'Big Bang Theory' co-star Johnny Galecki had secretly dated for two years earlier in the show's run, but that they were no longer together. (Noooo!!!) Now let's all mourn the relationship we didn't even know existed.
2. The show's theme song was written and recorded by the Barenaked Ladies.
I assume you all are familiar with that opener — the one which quickly describes the history and formation of the universe and even Earth itself (We built the pyramids!). Well, lead singer of BNL, Ed Robertson, agreed to write the theme song for Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady and actually drew inspiration from Simon Singh's book 'Big Bang,' which he had coincidentally just finished reading at the time. Sounds like fate! A full-length version of the song can be found on iTunes. (In the original unaired pilot, the theme song was 'She Blinded Me with Science' by Thomas Dolby.)
3. Jim Parsons has never actually watched an episode of 'Star Trek.'
Even though Parsons' character Sheldon Cooper is a huge 'Star Trek' fan, the actor himself has never seen the show before (*insert shocked gasp here*). The same goes for 'Doctor Who.' Hard to believe, isn't it?
4. Sheldon and Leonard got their names from a very important producer.
As it turns out, Sheldon Cooper and Leonard Hofstadter are named after the late, great TV producer Sheldon Leonard. Perhaps writers thought of him as the physicist of television. (Side note: that's totally what I'm going to start calling myself!)
5. Penny almost never existed.
Say it ain't so! Apparently the character of Penny had originally been named Katie — a more cynical, hard-drinking, streetwise girl who worked at a makeup salon. (Perhaps that explains why Penny loves to drink and frequently bar tends at The Cheesecake Factory?) And in the original unaired pilot, she was played not by Kaley Cuoco, but by Amanda Walsh. However, the test audience didn't care for Walsh's version of the character, so the part was recast to Cuoco. Thank goodness for that!
6. Unlike his character on the show, Jim Parsons prefers to drive in real life.
Yes indeed, Sheldon may not be a big fan of driving, but Parsons' actually gets motion sickness from riding as a passenger and prefers to drive over riding shotgun.
7. Raj's character is actually based off of a real person.
In particular, his inability to talk to women except when drunk. This trait is based on an old co-worker of executive producer Bill Prady from when he worked at a computer company back in the day. I wonder if the guy knows this character is about him. (Hopefully he's cool with it!) Ironically, this would make for a very unique conversation starter with women.
8. The cast's musical talents are completely real.
As a way to help transform into their characters, many of the cast members learned how to play the instruments that their characters are supposed to know. For example, Jim Parsons (like Sheldon) is very skilled at playing the Theremin whereas Mayim Bialik (like Amy) is quite the accomplished harpist. Johnny Galecki has even dabbled in the cello just like Leonard.
9. Sheldon's "Soft Kitty" song originated from Australia.
The song is an adapted version of the children's song "Warm Kitty" by Edith Newlin. Producer Bill Prady came up with the adaption after hearing it at his daughter's preschool class in Sherman Oaks. One of the teachers originally heard the song while visiting Australia. No wonder this lullaby always makes Sheldon feel better when he's scared/sick — it's meant for little kids! Adorable.
10. Sheldon's patented 'Bazinga!' is the product of a practical joke.
It originated from writer Stephen Engel, who would play practical jokes around the writer's room and then proclaim "Bazinga!" instead of "Gotcha!" at each of his culprits. The saying stuck and they made it a memorable trait for one of their main characters.
11. Bernadette's voice is completely fake.
Believe it or not, Melissa Rauch's sweet, high-pitched voice is not how the actress talks in real life — she just thought it would make for a fun trait to give her character. Rauch has admitted in the past that the voice is actually based on her mother's, only without the New Jersey accent.
12. There's only one set of stairs leading up to Penny, Leonard, and Sheldon's apartments.
The scenes where the actors walk up or down the three flights of stairs is all an illusion. In actuality, they are only walking up one set of stairs three different times. This means everything has to be shot in separate takes because the actors and the scenery all need to be reset after each flight. What a pain!
13. Mayim Bialik is the only cast member to have a legitimate PhD in real life.
They may all play geniuses on the show, but Bialik (who plays Sheldon's girlfriend, Amy, on the show) is the only one who's got the paperwork to back it up. She completed her doctorate neuroscience studies back in 2008. You go girl!
14. The original working title of the show was 'Lenny, Penny, and Kenny.'
I think we can all collectively be glad they decided to change it. Sheldon's face pretty much sums it all up.
15. Bernadette was on 'True Blood.'
Did your mind just get blown? Yes, our dear Melissa Rauch played Summer, the highly talkative, extremely bubbly, girl-next-door type gal who's super into Hoyt (even though he really can't stand her). That's Bernie! Umm, does Howard know about this???
I hope you enjoyed this week's installment of Facts From a TV Junkie. Check back next week for another fix!
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