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16 Big Bang Theory Facts That Are So Interesting
Somehow, it has already been 16 years since the premiere of The Big Bang Theory in September 2007. To commemorate this anniversary, here are 16 surprising facts about the show that will both educate and entertain you, and perhaps even inspire you to rewatch it all over again:
1. Originally, the character of Penny was meant to be called Katie, and she was not intended to be the “bubbly” version of the character we now know. Instead, she was initially conceived as a more cynical character. Kaley Cuoco auditioned for the role, but it was initially given to actor Amanda Walsh, who even filmed the original unaired pilot in 2006.
2. Before Kaley Cuoco immortalized the role of “Katie” (aka Penny), Marisa Tomei, Tara Reid, and Elizabeth Berkley also auditioned for the part.
3. One long-discussed aspect of the show was that Penny never had a last name. The writers ultimately decided never to give her a maiden name because they became “superstitious” about it. Consequently, her last name will always be her married name — Hofstadter.
4. Penny was not the only character who could have looked very different. The role of Howard Wolowitz was originally written for Kevin Sussman (who eventually played Stuart). However, ABC would not release him from his Ugly Betty contract, preventing him from taking on the role.
5. The characters of Sheldon and Leonard were named after producer Sheldon Leonard, who was involved in producing shows such as The Andy Griffith Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show.
6. Sheldon’s character was inspired by a computer programmer that Prady once worked with. Prady noted that this programmer could “do amazing calculations in his head but couldn’t manage to tip the waiters in a restaurant.”
7. The origin story of Sheldon’s famous catchphrase “Bazinga!” is revealed in a 2018 episode of Young Sheldon. As a child, Sheldon was attempting to act more childlike and playful, which led him to a comic book store selling funny toys under the brand name Bazinga — and the rest is history.
8. In Young Sheldon, it is revealed that Amy and Sheldon eventually have a son together, and they name him Leonard.
9. Kunal Nayyar has naturally curly hair, so he straightened his hair for every episode to portray Raj.
10. Carrie Fisher and James Earl Jones, who previously starred together in Star Wars, met for the first time while appearing as guest stars on The Big Bang Theory.
11. Mark Hamill initially felt “a little nervous” about committing to appear in the Season 11 finale to officiate Sheldon and Amy’s wedding because the producers approached him as their “dream guest” without even having a script.
12. Mayim Bialik, who portrays Amy, actually holds a PhD in neuroscience in real life. She has mentioned that her background in neuroscience was helpful while working on the show, and she would occasionally provide minor corrections to the scientific jargon used in the dialogue. The writers even made Amy work in neuroscience to ensure the character’s accuracy.
13. Melissa Rauch revealed that the reason why Bernadette’s speaking voice is so high-pitched is because it was inspired by her real-life mother.
14. “Soft Kitty” is a significant part of The Big Bang Theory, but CBS and Warner Bros. were actually sued over it. However, the lawsuit was eventually dropped.
15. As a gesture of solidarity, Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar, and Simon Helberg each agreed to a $100,000 pay cut from their substantial $1,000,000 per episode salaries just before Season 11. This decision was made to ensure that Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch received salaries of over $425,000 per episode.
16. The show was not always intended to be called The Big Bang Theory. The original working title was Lenny, Penny, and Kenny.