Inside the laughs
What does Big Bang‘s live studio audience get to see each week? Oh, just Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki as warm-up acts, celebrity guests, and so much more. If you have never had the chance to attend a taping, consider this your inside seat.
Way back in season 2, celebrity cameos were rarer than, well time-traveling supersoldiers, so when former Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Firefly star Summer Galu appeared on set, it was a charming surprise.
Audience members cheer for Galecki and Cuoco, who describes the energy level at tapings as “insane.” The two are known for greeting fans before every show and are often joined by other cast members too. Let’s hear it for Lenny!
Cuoco and guest star Brian Thomas Smith, who plays her onetime love interest Zack Johnson, mug for director Anthony Rich while filming a season 7 episode.
It was Jim Parsons (with costar Mayim Bialik in season 5) who set into motion the plan to move out of apartment 4B for good. “It just felt that it was time,” Parsons told EW. “At a personal level it feels like the right time of life. I’m firmly in middle age now. I don’t know how much longer I can wear [the T-shirts] without looking really long in the tooth.”
After Howard created a space toilet, he became an astronaut in season 5, much to Sheldon’s green-eyed chagrin. Here Simon Helberg stands with guest star Pasha D. Lychnikoff as Russian cosmonaut Dimitri (right) and real-life NASA astronaut Michael Massimino.
Ever since season 1, it’s been the job of David Saltzberg — a physics professor at UCLA — to assist the Big Bang writers and prop department so that Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Raj sound and behave like actual brainiacs. “My role is to ground the show in reality,” says Saltzberg (not pictured).
Lost at sea
During an elaborate dream (nightmare?) sequence in the episode “The Hofstadter Insufficiency,” Sheldon (Parsons) listens helplessly over the phone as Leonard (Galecki) is scooped from his research boat by a nefarious sea monster. Who released the kraken?
Kunal Nayyar, Kevin Sussman (who portrays Stuart), and Galecki pack on the pounds for a visual gag featuring the Cheesecake Factory in season 7.
Rich, Cuoco, Nayyar, and Galecki take a break from filming.
Melissa Rauch during a season 6 scene at the pharmaceutical company where her character Bernadette and (soon after) Penny work.
Remembering Stan Lee
The Marvel editor and comic-book legend visited the show’s comic-book store to sign autographs in season 3. While Sheldon’s overly familiar behavior meant he ended up with a restraining order from that version of Lee, the reality was quite the opposite.
Bialik helps clap the slate board while filming a season 7 episode.
The Big Borg Theory
On the way to a local comic convention, the gang dresses up in Star Trek: The Next Generation costumes, gets their car stolen, and decides to hike through the desert — which was luckily a green screen.
Want more behind-the-scenes scoop? Pick up a copy of Entertainment Weekly’s Ultimate Guide to The Big Bang Theory on newsstands now, or buy it online.