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The Big Bang Theory continues to go big.
During Friday’s Comic-Con panel — its first in the massive Hall H — NASA astronaut Richard Searfoss presented co-star Simon Helberg with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to journey to space aboard the Lynx Experience.
After Helberg, a new father, realized that Searfoss was serious he wound up passing — joking that “altitudes give me a lot of gas” and that he’s a picky eater. Ultimately, all the fans of age received envelopes with the chance at winning the flight, with one lucky woman walking away with the golden ticket to space.
With the writers only recently returning to work, a highlight panel from season five was shown, and the cast had a ball taking questions from fans.
Here are 11 other fun tidbits from Friday’s panel.
1. Favorite moments: Highlights for the cast and creators included Sheldon holding Amy’s hand, with Jim Parsons noting that he enjoys the “exploration of the whole Amy and Sheldon relationship, it’s very fun to see where that’s going — as slowly as that may be.” Co-star Mayim Bialik kissing the monitor on which her onscreen partner appeared on via satellite.
2. Dreams do come true: Exec producer Bill Prady noted that his highlight last year was being told that Star Trek icon (and his dream guest star) Leonard Nimoy was on the phone calling about a role on the show’s fifth season, with fellow EP Steve Molaro noting that he jumped up onto the stage to meet the star. Molaro, meanwhile, said his best moment came when he learned that he could shake guest star Stephen Hawking‘s hand — “and getting to know that they actually let you do that,” he added.
3. Howard’s pants: Other quips from the panel included Helberg’s gem on his wardrobe: “I help with the stuffing,” he said of his tight pants. “It’s a lot of sucking in and hanging,” he laughed.
4. Kaley Cuoco really does understand the show’s all-around geekery — and science: “Why are you guys looking at me?! We went through this last year!” she laughed when the entire cast and creators looked in her direction after a fan asked if everyone understood the technical jargon on the show. The actress, who took heat last year at the Con from loyal fans for her seeming lack of geek cred, defended her ability to fashion Star Trek‘s “live long and prosper” hand gesture and received support from Prady, who noted she has difficulty fashioning the finger separation. Cute overload.
5. As for spoilers, EP Chuck Lorre teased that after Raj’s (Kunal Nayyar) unfortunate love affair with his iPhone’s Siri, the series has a fun follow-up planned for the guy who is unable to speak to women without booze. “We have a romance planed for Raj this year,” he offered. “Wait until you see it!”
6. Will there ever be a crossover between Lorre’s Two and a Half Men and Big Bang? Lorre said any one of the guys could easily be a tutor for Men’s Jake. “He’s quite a knucklehead,” he joked.
7. The panel, which featured the unseen voice of Howard’s mom last year and a live performance by Barenaked Ladies the year prior, had another hugely fun moment when the cast sang “Soft Kitty” — in the round and almost totally on key. Impressive! A close second this year? Melissa Rauch plugging Bialik’s book on parenting (in a voice impersonating Howard’s unseen mother) and asking if Howard would be interested in experimenting with adult breastfeeding.
8. Cuoco, whose Penny is a waitress at the Cheesecake Factory, shared that she got a ton of looks from people when she went out to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. “It took me a long time to realize why they were looking at me,” she said, noting that she now tends to avoid dining there.
9. “I’m just a professional, and I stay focused,” Parsons deadpanned in a very Sheldon fashion when a fan asked how he didn’t break character. Bazinga!
10. Weeks! That’s how long it took the crew to put together the Lego Death Star featured on the show. “It was a few nervous breakdowns around that Death Star,” Lorre said. Added Prady: It was originally cut from the episode it was supposed to be in, but the series added it to a subsequent episode in order to keep the poor woman who was tasked with putting it together.
11. “I think she’s just like Cher — she just goes by one name,” Cuoco joked about if Penny’s last name would ever be revealed. “Worst series finale reveal: Penny Jones,” Lorre laughed.
Johnny Galecki‘s flight from production in Savannah, where he was filming the upcoming feature CBGB, and he was unable to attend the panel.
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