11:10am PT by Dave Nemetz
Comic-Con: 'Big Bang Theory' Writers Geek Out Over 'Star Wars,' Coffee and Season 9 Memories
The Big Bang Theory and Comic-Con: It just feels right, doesn’t it?
The writers behind CBS’ megahit nerd-com continued their annual tradition of heading down to San Diego Comic-Con to chat about the past season — and they had plenty to talk about on Friday. Sheldon and Amy’s monumental first time together … Bernadette’s pregnancy … the landmark 200th episode … and don’t forget Leonard’s dad (Judd Hirsch) and Sheldon’s mom (Laurie Metcalf) running off together in the season finale. (Did they actually hook up? Does that mean Sheldon and Leonard are brothers now?)
The panel kicked off with a video compilation of season nine’s funniest moments, led by a Star Wars-esque crawl and the legendary Bob Newhart as the Jedi ghost version of the late Professor Proton. We saw Penny quoting Toy Story’s “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” in her wedding vows to Leonard, Adam West dissing Christian Bale’s take on Batman and the nerd gang freaking out about not being able to buy The Force Awakens tickets online. So: Comic-Con catnip, basically.
And we even got a special guest moderator: Bernadette herself, Melissa Rauch. She dove into the good stuff right away, asking the writers: “Can you guys tell us about the coitus episode?” Showrunner Steve Molaro confesses: “Not since I lost my own virginity have I been so stressed out and so invested in a single physical act.” Writer Steve Holland adds that the debut of the new Star Wars movie gave them a high-stakes hook to hang Sheldon and Amy’s “coitus” on.
Speaking of real-life inspiration: Molaro says the gang’s frantic search for Star Wars tickets “was pulled right out of real life for us.” Holland remembers all the Big Bang writers nervously hunched over their phones while on set, trying to get Force Awakens tickets. (Is anyone surprised, really?) Plus, Penny forgetting Leonard’s birthday is based on writer Jeremy Howe’s real life, he says: “She knows it’s one of two days. ... After it aired, she actually got it wrong again.”
Of course, the Big Bang writing staff has their own nerdy obsessions. “I have been to so many Star Trek conventions,” Molaro remembers. “I have waited in such long lines to get George Takei’s autograph when I was 12, and then he was on our show ... and I got his autograph again!” He adds that the writing staff has now moved on to coffee beans: “Roasting and grinding our own coffee has become a geeky obsession.”
On the 200th episode, Molaro lauds the comedic work of West, and reveals that his appearance was years in the making: “Those car scenes, where he’s defending himself as the best Batman … we actually wrote those back in season eight, and we couldn’t get him then.” Then when they did finally land West, they went back and dug up those old pages. Molaro says it was “like finding 20 bucks in your pants pocket.”
Plus, we got a juicy reveal about season 10: The series will finally introduce Penny’s mother and brother during the season premiere — and TV great Katey Sagal will play Penny’s mom. It’s a role Sagal is familiar with, as she played Kaley Cuoco’s mother on the ABC sitcom 8 Simple Rules. “She told us she’s always up for playing Kaley’s mom,” Molaro says.
To cap things off, they brought out the fearsome actor who'll play Penny's drug-dealer brother: 30 Rock's Jack McBrayer. When Rauch asked him if he's ever been to prison, he seemed open to it: "I look good in orange ... and I'm good at making new friends!" And a long-debated mystery was solved when the writers revealed Penny's last name: Hofstadter, after the famed scientist.
Season 10 of The Big Bang Theory premieres Monday, Sept. 19, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
Bookmark THR.com/ComicCon to keep up with all the highlights.