With 12 seasons and more than 270 episodes, The Big Bang Theory is CBS’s longest-running sitcom. The show follows the four socially awkward friends, Leonard, Sheldon, Howard, and Raj, whose lives take a turn for the best when they meet aspiring actress Penny.
This witty sitcom soon became so popular that its co-creators, Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, decided to create a spin-off about Sheldon Cooper’s childhood.
Today, more than three years after the last episode of TBBT aired, fans are still learning things about the show.
For example, that the original pilot didn’t include Penny, but instead, another character named Katie, who was meant to become Sheldon and Leonard’s roommate. And, most recently, the co-creators of the show revealed who was the inspiration for TBBT’s most iconic character: Sheldon Cooper. Keep reading to find out!
How Jim Parsons Landed The Role Of Sheldon Cooper
It would seem that Jim Parsons was born to play Sheldon Cooper. In fact, the show’s co-creators have revealed that his audition was perfect.
“We saw – oh god, I don’t know, 100 people? And when Jim Parsons came in, he was Sheldon on a level. You know, there were people who came in and you went, ‘Okay, well, he’s kind of okay,’ ‘Oh, he’s pretty good,’ ‘Maybe he’s the guy,’ [but] Jim came in, and he was just – from that audition, he was the Sheldon that you saw on television. Jim left the room, and I turned and I went, ‘That’s the guy! That’s the guy! That’s the guy!'” Bill Prady told People.
But, believe it or not, Chuck Lorre didn’t want to cast Parsons as Sheldon at first. Mainly because he considered that Parsons’ audition was too perfect and that the actor wouldn’t be able to portray the character with such finesse again.
Instead, Lorre originally intended Johnny Galecki to play the role, but Galecki turned down the role of Sheldon, saying he was “better suited” to play Leonard. Lorre then asked Parsons to re-audition for the role of Sheldon, and the rest is history.
Sheldon Cooper Was Based On Someone The Show’s Co-Creator, Bill Prady, Met Back In The 80s
Fans have always wondered who was the inspiration for such an iconic and interesting character as Sheldon Cooper. Well, turns out that this character was based on someone Bill Prady, co-creator of The Big Bang Theory, met back in the 80s.
In 2009, Prady told the audience at the Paley Festival (via The TV Addict): “Before I was a writer, I was a computer programmer and was working with guys who were amazingly bright and had a little trouble fitting into the world, me among them. I would tell Chuck [Lorre] about a guy I knew who was a human calculator. If you programmed in Z80 assembly you had to convert from decimal to hexadecimal, and you could either grab the calculator or you could shout it to this guy, and he would be faster.”
“But he couldn’t calculate a tip at a restaurant. And the reason is because the formula for a tip is 15-20% depending upon the quality of the service, and he couldn’t put a numeric value on the service. It was human.”
And as for the names of the show’s two main characters, Chuck Lorre has revealed that Sheldon Cooper and Leonard Hofstadter are named in honor of actor, writer, and producer Sheldon Leonard.
Jim Parsons’ Nephew Inspired Chuck Lorre To Create Young Sheldon
Turns out that Jim Parsons, who played Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory for 12 seasons, accidentally inspired Chuck Lorre to create the spin-off series, Young Sheldon, that follows a nine-year-old Sheldon Cooper trying to adapt to life in East Texas.
“The beginning was a phone call from Jim Parsons, who sent me a video of his 10-year-old nephew in Texas who is a prodigy — brilliant, extraordinary, off the hook, crazy smart kid. And Jim asked, ‘Is there anything we can do with this?’ I said, ‘Well, if we wanted to do a show about a young man who is brilliant — a comedy — we have that built into our show. That’s the backstory of Sheldon Cooper”, Lorre told The Hollywood Reporter.