Fans of CBS’s The Big Bang Theory turned out by the thousands to salute the cast and executives at the Paley Center for Media’s 33rd Annual PaleyFest. And they didn’t leave disappointed: The cast—minus Melissa Rauch, who was doing promotional duties for her new film, The Bronze—revealed brand new secrets about the show, casting news, and hints about future episodes. Here’s everything we uncovered…
Big Bang Season 10 and Beyond: On the red carpet, co-creator and executive producer Chuck Lorre revealed that while the 10th season of the series is guaranteed, seasons 11 and 12 “haven’t been discussed yet.” When will it be discussed? Even Lorre himself wasn’t sure. So who do we talk to about getting at least another 100 episodes? “I guess [CBS chief executive] Les Moonves,” Lorre joked.
Cheers for Coitus: Season nine has creatively been one of Big Bang‘s best, and to no one’s surprise, it’s the Shamy hookup episode that means the most to Lorre. “That was remarkable to me because it was done in a graceful and emotional way, and I thought it was true to the characters,” he told Glamour. “I just loved it. I loved every minute of it.” Speaking of the term coitus, how did the writers decide that would be Sheldon’s go-to terminology? “I don’t recall [who suggested it], but a clinical word seemed appropriate for Sheldon,” reveals Lorre. “[Sheldon] wouldn’t use slang. He wouldn’t use foul language. It’s a biological fact from his standpoint, but not an emotional necessity. [Having Sheldon] speak technically about it felt appropriate. I just don’t remember where it began. It’s a biological expression as far as he is concerned. Not anymore [though]. He had an emotional experience with Amy, and he enjoyed it and is looking forward to her next birthday! It’s a huge growth for the character.”
The Next All-New Episode: Fans were treated to special screening of the brand-new March 31 episode, and it’s a major one for Sheldon. “We learn something very personal and secretive about Sheldon,” noted executive producer Steve Molaro. “He’s not exactly proud of it.”
The Season 9 Finale: Big Bang writers are known for not planning too far ahead, but Molaro admitted that they have a “decent idea of something that will happen in the finale.” As far as a cliffhanger, “It’s something that we tend to do,” said Molaro. “I don’t feel we’re obligated to do it, but it’s sort of tradition at this point. We’ll see how it goes.”
Penny’s Maiden Name: During the panel, the talk turned to Penny’s maiden name (which as we all know has never been revealed). Kaley Cuoco proudly announced that Penny’s last name “is forever Hofstadter now,” until Jim Parsons joked that “[unless] there could be a divorce!” Cuoco’s response? “Stop it!”
The Opening Night Excitation: When talking about the Shamy coitus episode, Parsons said that “it felt very, very right” to consummate their relationship. Joked Mayim Bialik: “It felt like we were joining the club of all of humanity!” Parsons took a few minutes to praise the writers, noting that “any progress we have made as a couple…the way it happens from the writers is so organic and easy to do. That’s all credit to them.” Parsons got the biggest applause of the night when he said that he never thought Sheldon would have sex on the show, but “I look forward to doing it again! I can’t wait to be back in bed again!”
Why Jim Parsons Wants More Shamy Sexy Time: Earlier on the carpet, Parsons revealed to us that Shamy’s after-coitus moment was his personal favorite. “I will tell you, my very favorite thing so far has been the after-sex scene with Amy and Sheldon. I just had never had the opportunity to relate to anybody in that kind of way on the show, like a pillow-talk scene. I was like, ‘There’s a whole other way to talk on this show that I didn’t have access to before!’ We haven’t been back in the sack since then, and I’m hoping to get back there.”
Raj’s Grooming Habits: When moderator Alie Ward asked Kunal Nayyar if he has the hairstylists on the show flat iron Raj’s hair, Nayyar shot back, “I don’t have them straighten my hair! I don’t ask for it!” Still, Nayyar admitted that Raj had hipster curly hair in season one and then in season two, “for some reason they started flat ironing my bangs.” Molaro then joked, “Maybe we find out Raj spends an hour every morning straight-ironing his hair.”
The Story Behind Adam West’s Casting: Mayim Bialik admitted that she cried when she met Adam West on the set for the show’s 200th episode, but in actuality, West was scheduled to appear on the series the year before. “He was supposed to be on last season,” revealed Molaro. “We had written those scenes already—when the guys were arguing about who was the best Batman. So we remembered the scenes from last year it was like finding money in your coat. It was great.”
We Have a Dad for Leonard! Steve Molaro revealed that acclaimed actor Judd Hirsch (Taxi) will be playing Leonard’s never-before-seen father, and we have Johnny Galecki to thank. According to Galecki, the two met at the recent James Burrows tribute. “I went up to him and bombarded him with conversation and what a fan I am. I should probably preface this story by saying there was free wine at the James Burrows tribute.” Galecki shared with Hirsch that his character on Big Bang often reminds him of Hirsch’s on Taxi. Realizing that Hirsch would be a perfect fit as Leonard’s dad, Galecki then asked him if he’d have any interest in coming on board. Before Galecki could finish his story to the audience, Simon Helberg joked that “[Hirsch] said no, but Rhea Perlman is going to play…” Galecki admitted that it might have been a little presumptuous of him to ask Hirsch since nothing was written as far as storyline goes. “But I knew Bill Prady and Chuck Lorre were fans of him,” he added. “I texted Steve [Molaro] that night and said, ‘If this storyline comes around…'” Not one to leave a joke buried, Lorre than deadpanned that the vertically-challenged Danny DeVito (Hirsch’s Taxi co-star and Perlman’s husband) will play Bernadette and Howard’s baby.
Happy Birthday, Jim! When moderator Ward asked if Jim Parsons likes his birthday in real life (it was revealed in the 200th that Sheldon does not), he said, “I like my birthday very much! It’s in the spring (March 24). I’m an Aries. What’s wrong with a birthday? It’s a wonderful time of year!”
Kaley’s Dreams for Penny and Leonard: Cuoco admitted that it was her dream all along for Penny and Leonard to eventually get married. “For a couple years, I didn’t think they’d go that way, but I always knew deep down she was in love with the guy next door.”
Mutual Admiration Society: Jim Parsons said that he could never have predicted Sheldon’s journey on the series. “We get asked a lot what you want for your characters, and you’ll make up answers and say things,” he said. “But none of the things I think of for Sheldon ever compete with what the writers actually deliver. It’s one of the greatest joys and the reason nine years is going on to 10. It’s why it’s so much fun for us.” Parsons joked that “it’s not that we all like each other because some days we don’t.” Cuoco comedically shook her head up and down to the audience’s amusement. Getting serious again, Parsons noted that “every week is different,” and the show is “fun to do, easy to do, [and] a pleasure to do.” Added Molaro: “We are so blessed to have the seven actors that we have. You guys are just magic.”
Wardrobe Secrets: When a fan noted that the characters wear a lot of layers on the show, Nayyar joked that it was because all the actors are in super duper shape in real life. “We have to appear [to be thicker] on the show.” Bialik noted that the characters dress to reflect all four seasons, which Parsons wasn’t aware of. “I don’t notice this,” he revealed. “I leave the house [as Sheldon] in a goddamn jacket every time, and Leonard is always in a hoodie!”
Big Bang and Meryl Streep?! Simon Helberg next stars in the movie, Florence Foster Jenkins, opposite Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant. So what was it like meeting the world’s greatest actress? “I think I stuttered a lot and said something about leaving my body,” he revealed. “I was meeting someone I worshiped.” So does Streep watch The Big Bang Theory? “She was aware of it,” Helberg said. “There were a couple of moments where people came up to us and said, ‘I just have to say, I’m such a big fan. Simon, can I get a picture with you?’ And I’m like, ‘Do you know who I’m sitting next to?’ So, that was one of the weirder moments, where I was like, ‘Don’t look at me, look at this person here.’ She’s maybe one of my favorite people.” When we joked that now she’s one of Wolowitz’s biggest fans in need of a cameo, Helberg deadpanned, “Yes, and she just won’t stop showing up to [Big Bang] tapings now! [But] I’ll see what I can do to pull some strings!”
*Blossom 2.0: In what might be the greatest promotional campaign ever, Melissa Rauch got Mayim Bialik to recreate the opening of Blossom, ’90s flower hats and all! Take a look, and make sure you watch till the very, very end…
Stay tuned for more Big Bang Theory coverage next week!
In the meantime, ever wonder what ridiculous nicknames the cast has for each other? Here’s some never before revealed info:
Photos: Michael Kovac and Rob Latour for Paley Center for Media