Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the season 11 finale of The Big Bang Theory. Read at your own risk!
The Big Bang Theory closed out its 11th season with the star-studded wedding of Sheldon and Amy — but one guest in particular stole the show.
First off, yes, Mark Hamill surprise-officiated the wedding. And in any other circumstance, we’d be as starstruck as Sheldon (Jim Parsons) was upon realizing that Luke Skywalker would take part in his big day with Amy (Mayim Bialik). However, the finale also provided a shocking moment that many fans never thought they’d see, and it had to do with magician Teller.
As part of the wedding extravaganza, Kathy Bates made her debut as Amy’s overbearing mom, who would steamroll over her father any time he tried to speak — a running joke made all the more hilarious because Amy’s father was portrayed by the famously silent magician.
But The Big Bang Theory did what seemed impossible, getting Teller to actually speak on camera. After his wife tussles with Penny (Kaley Cuoco), Mrs. Fowler encourages him to take action. “Are you going to let her talk to me like that?” she says. “Say something!” Mr. Fowler responds directly to Penny, whispering, “Thank you.”
It’s brief, but momentous. Those two words are more than most have ever heard Teller speak. This wasn’t his first public speaking, mind you — he has briefly spoken on a number of occasions in the past, it’s just a rare occurrence. “He was super-game, and he’s a friend of the show,” executive producer Steve Holland tells EW. “We know he’s a fan, we’ve met him before, he’s come to the set before, and so actually it seems like we wrote the role specifically for him, but we didn’t.
“When we were writing Amy’s mom and dad, it just seemed funny that Amy’s mom kept stepping on Amy’s dad every time he tried to speak,” Holland continues. “About halfway through writing, one of the writers, Jeremy Howe, said, ‘Teller would be really funny for this.’ And it just clicked. You’re like, absolutely. This feels like it was intentional, like we did this just for that, but it seemed like such the perfect fit, so we contacted him and he was super-excited about doing it. He was actually bouncing back and forth. He was directing a play in Chicago and doing his Penn and Teller show in Vegas, but he was like, ‘Don’t worry. We’ll work out the logistics. I really want to be there to do this.’”
And yes, Teller really did speak to Holland. He really does speak! But there was a moment, briefly, when they weren’t going to include his voice — though not due to any objections on Teller’s part. “When we shot it, we did a couple different versions of it, but no, he never pushed back or was reluctant to do the line at all,” Holland says. “We did a bigger, fuller-voiced version, we did the version that you saw [in the finale], and we did a version where he only mouthed it but didn’t vocalize anything — the whispered version seemed to be the funniest.”
At the close of the finale, Sheldon and Amy got married with nary a cliffhanger in sight — well, save for the fact that the newlyweds discovered the game-changing super-asymmetry. “We don’t know what the future holds, whether next season will be the end or not, but it’s always been a thing that we’ve talked about, giving Sheldon a big win at some point,” Holland says. “We’ve said for 11 years that he’s one of the smartest people in the world, so I think it’s important for us to show that at some point, and to have it be a thing that he and Amy have done together. This breakthrough will certainly play through next season.”
While the episode concluded with Amy and Sheldon officially being hitched, there was a post-nuptials scene that ended up on the cutting room floor. EW was on set for the taping of the finale, and witnessed a scene that pays tribute to the late scientist Stephen Hawking, who had previously appeared on the show on several occasions. As Amy and Sheldon celebrate having Hamill’s signature on their marriage license, Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Penny bring in more wedding presents, one of which they realize was sent by Hawking before his death. Both cheeky and heartfelt, the gift speaks to Hawking’s importance to the characters of the show. Find out what the gift is when CBS releases the video Friday.
The Big Bang Theory will return this fall on CBS.