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Facts From a TV Junkie: 'The Big Bang Theory'

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.

Leonard and Penny on The Big Bang Theory

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.

The Big Bang Theory intro

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.'

Sheldon and Spock on The Big Bang Theory

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.

Sheldon and Leonard on The Big Bang Theory

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.

Amanda Walsh and Kaley Cuoco

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.

Sheldon and Leonard in a car.

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.

Raj on The Big Bang Theory

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.

Mayim Bialik playing the harp on The Big Bang Theory

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.

Penny and Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory

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.

Sheldon surrounded by a bunch of plastic balls

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.

Melissa Rauch on The Big Bang Theory

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.

Cast in the hallway in The Big Bang Theory

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.

Amy on The Big Bang Theory

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.'

Sheldon looking shocked on The Big Bang Theory

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.'

Facts From a TV Junkie: 'The Big Bang Theory'

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!

'True Blood' < Previous | Next > Stay tuned!

- Kunal Nayyar
- Jim Parsons
- Melissa Rauch
- Simon Helberg
- Johnny Galecki
- Mayim Bialik
- Kaley Cuoco
- The Big Bang Theory

Written by: Kelly_Schremph
Oct 13th, 2013, 11:15 pm

Images courtesy of CBS, HBO

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Message Posted On Nov 12th, 2013, 8:21 pm

@Roboboy24  since i cannot get the information from your post to get your email address


Message Posted On Nov 12th, 2013, 1:43 pm
P.S. What's the correct email address to add to my Address Book to allow me to receive a confirmation as I'm trying to create an account. I'm not gettin' it and it's tickin' me off.

Message Posted On Nov 12th, 2013, 1:35 pm
No. 11, Bernadette's voice is completely fake. Thank so much for the list of Big Bang "factoids"!! I'm a huge fan and actually, I've never enjoyed or followed a show -of any kind- as much as this one. Here's another interesting thing about No. 11, Bernadette's fake voice: It doesn't change overnight... Season 03 Episode 05 - The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary This is Bernadette's debut episode on Big Bang. It involves a blind-date with Howard, as they double-date with Leonard and Penny. Here, her voice is pretty much the same pitch as Melissa Rauch's own voice. Season 03 Episode 09 - The Vengeance Formulation In this episode, Bernadette asks Howard for a commitment. Season 03 Episode 10 - The Gorilla Experiment In this episode, Bernadette talks to Leonard about his laser experiment. Season 03 Episode 12 - The Psychic Vortex In this episode, Bernadette is with Howard, as they again double-date with Leonard and Penny. Season 03 Episode 14 - The Einstein Approximation In this episode, Bernadette scolds Sheldon to get him to go to bed. In the above 4 episodes, her voice has gotten noticeably higher, but she's not done yet. In Season 4 episode 4 she finally returns to the series, (now a part of the Main Cast!) . Season 04 Episode 04 - The Hot Troll Deviation It's this episode that she finds the "pitch" she's going to use for the rest of the show. Thanks again for your article!Thanx BC

Message Posted On Oct 19th, 2013, 12:14 pm
"14. The original working title of the show was 'Lenny, Penny, and Kenny.' Who's Kenny?" They killed Kenny! ...You bastards!

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Message Posted On Oct 18th, 2013, 6:48 am

Re: 14. The original working title of the show was 'Lenny, Penny, and Kenny.'

Who's Kenny?


Message Posted On Oct 14th, 2013, 8:21 pm
"Raj's character is actually based off of a real person." Raj's character is actually based on a real person. FIFY

Message Posted On Oct 14th, 2013, 9:26 am
Hi Kelly. We are fans of The Big Bang and enjoyed your article. Rick & Connie "hi..yah" !!!!
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