Jim Parsons, Simon Helberg
Credit: Robert Voets (2)

In honor of The Big Bang Theory‘s return tonight with the first of nine new episodes, in a new timeslot (Mondays, 8 p.m. ET, CBS), we present the return of PopWatch Duel. We asked costars Jim Parsons (Sheldon, pictured left) and Simon Helberg (Wolowitz, right) to each list The Five Geekiest Pieces of Pop Culture I Own. You decide who’s the bigger geek — a term of great affection on this blog — by casting a vote in the comments section below. Their responses…

Jim Parsons:

I’m not entirely sure what makes something geeky (beyond a pocket protector or some such nonsense). I am not entirely sure what constitutes pop culture, either. Or maybe I am. Without further excuses, I allow my very personal list to speak for itself.

1. I submit as geeky item number one my AM/FM portable radio. I do not know if this item, in and of itself, necessarily says “geek,” but I believe the life I share with this radio is rather geeky. I purchased this Sony item at a Best Buy a little over a year ago and it has been attached to my hip (via my belt) most waking hours since (when I’m not working). I jog a lot and I just walk around a lot and it’s always with me. I also tend to clean my house a lot and, here too, I wear the radio and keep it on. Always talk radio. Never music. Typically a political bent to the talk, but sometimes straight up news. I THINK that’s geeky…? Perhaps just odd.

2. Is horticulture geeky, per se? I have a planter I purchased at Target that included seeds and mulch to grow the ingredients to make your own salsa. I have not a clue as to when to plan the party where I will serve said salsa (how long do jalapeños take to grow, after all?), but I have started the process, and you will be thrilled to know that the first sprouts have sprung.

3. Though technically in storage at my mom’s house, I own most, if not all, of the Star Wars figurines and space ships, land cruisers, etc. created up through Jedi. The figures are stored in a carrying case that is in the shape of Darth Vader’s head and while I don’t think these are particularly unique geeky things to own, my figures are special: all of their feet have been gnawed at by the next door neighbor’s dog. He was older than me (the neighbor, not the dog) and he also collected the Star Wars goods and when we would play with them together (what the hell were we playing, anyway?) he would surreptitiously switch ours out. So I guess he’s got a geeky collection of his own in pristine condition somewhere. Ass.

4. I own several dictionaries, pronouncing dictionaries and now, as an occupational hazard, I guess, even a “physics dictionary.” I love words. I love their different meanings and (thank God) I love to memorize them. I guess you could say I “geek out” on them.

5. All the Harry Potter books. All of ’em. Again, not a unique thing to have on your book shelf and this time I don’t even have an anecdote of something unique I’ve done with them or that happened to them. I just read them, like a normal human being, and loved every minute of the experience. Book 4 was my favorite and I cried like a baby towards the end of it. Geeky reading material: $24.95; Still awaiting your personal invitation to attend Hogwarts: Priceless. And psychotic.

Simon Helberg:

1. Tucked away in my childhood desk, I have many a New Kids on the Block centerfold from Teen Beat magazine and such. I was a much younger, scarier person when I ripped these pictures out (sometimes even from magazines that I didn’t buy). It’s a miracle I survived.

2. I own a fart CD. It has, I believe, over 100 fart sounds. A lovely variety, from the up-close and personal to the more experimental and dissonant. Some people prefer to listen to Bach when they go to sleep… not me.

3. I own Superman pajamas. They’re an extra large in a kids size. I got them a couple years ago for nostalgic reasons. But now anytime I wear a suit, I have to have them underneath. You just never know.

4. I still have a guitar pick that I caught at a Nelson concert when I was about eight. I’ve recently learned that Nelson did not consist of two hot blonde chicks. That puts a weird damper on that part of my childhood.

5. Tucked away in the aforementioned childhood desk, is my old ducktail. In a plastic bag. Still braided. About eight inches in length. Again, a miracle that I survived.

Okay, who wins the duel? Jim Parsons or Simon Helberg? Vote now!