The Big Bang Theory: A Writer’s Panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2014

By August 14th, 2014

Coming just in time for the holidays, Smart Pop is working with George Beahm on an updated edition of Unraveling the Mysteries of The Big Bang Theory. Including brand-new chapters on Big Bang’s leading ladies Amy Farrah Fowler and Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz, a fully up-to-date section on the supporting cast and guest stars (with new entries on LeVar Burton, Alex Jensen, George Takei, Siri, and more), and a revamped annotated glossary on the SFF, pop culture, and other miscellany mentioned throughout the show, the updated Unraveling the Mysteries of The Big Bang Theory is the most comprehensive Big Bang Theory companion, perfect for fans who want more of Sheldon, Leonard, and the gang.

To whet your appetite for the upcoming book release and new season, we’re sharing a guest blog post from George about the July 25th Big Bang Theory panel at San Diego Comic-Con. Get the inside scoop on the panel discussions, actor appearances, and more!

By George Beahm, author of Unraveling the Mysteries of The Big Bang Theory.

“We couldn’t have imagined we [would] get to sing this song for The Big Bang Theory fans at Comic-Con.” —Singing duo Garfunkel and Oates (Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome) singing “If I Didn’t Have You” at the Big Bang Theory San Diego Comic-Con panel in 2014.

Two actresses from Big Bang that form the singing duo, Garfunkel and Oates; left, actress who played Raj’s former girlfriend; right, actress who played Ramona Nowitski

Two actresses from Big Bang that form the singing duo, Garfunkel and Oates; left, actress who played Raj’s former girlfriend; right, actress who played Ramona Nowitski

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In Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring, at the Council of Elrond, Boromir explains to the gathered assemblage that “One does not simply walk into Mordor.”

That saying morphed into a T-shirt with a photo of him taglined, “One does not simply walk into Hall H.” It’s a reference to the largest room at the San Diego Comic-Con convention center, which holds 6,100 people.

Because of its capacity, Hall H hosts the most popular panels for which fans get in line early for a coveted seat. This year, the two big panels were George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, and Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. (In 2012, it housed a panel comprised of The Big Bang Theory cast.)

This year, like last year, a ballroom that held 4,900 people hosted a Big Bang Theory writer’s panel, which included producer Bill Prady, science advisor David Salzberg, and the principal writers. Moderated by talk show host Craig Ferguson, the panel’s ballroom was packed to capacity.

One also does not simply walk into Ballroom 20.

The lines to get in began hours earlier, as fans from teens to seniors queued up under tents in an interminable line for which passes were issued to gauge attendance.

The line getting into The Big Bang Theory panel—the starting point, which then went into a series of other, smaller tents before entering into the building itself.

The line getting into The Big Bang Theory panel—the starting point, which then went into a series of other, smaller tents before entering into the building itself.

The panel was prefaced by the duo Garfunkel and Oates singing a song that Howard had sung to Bernadette on the show, “If I Didn’t Have You.” The duo, comprised of Kate Micucci (Raj’s ex-girlfriend) and Riki Lindhome (Ramona Nowitzski from “The Cooper-Nowitzski Theorem,” 2-6), set the right tone with the song, replete with nerdy references.

As expected, mum was the word for the most part on the panel, but a few nuggets of information were shared. We learned that, although Leonard and Penny are engaged, there’s no imminent wedding, and no babies planned. We also learned that, although Stuart’s comic book store is history, there will another comic book store taking its place, though Stuart’s role is uncertain: Will the insurance money allow him to reopen a bigger, larger store, or will it be the opportunity to introduce a new cast member as owner? Will Stuart then find employment elsewhere?

Elsewhere, on a related plot note, in Jessica Toomer’s July 23, 2014 story from Huffington Post,

“Penny has an interesting arc this year where she puts acting down,” Lorre said. Apparently, Penny pulls the plug on her failed career in front of the camera in order to become a pharmaceutical rep, which will bring in plenty more dough for the character and possibly cause some problems with fiancée Leonard. “She’s going to start making some money, which will unbalance their relationship as the power shifts,” Lorre said. “She’s going to find some confidence and self-esteem, which acting does not provide in great heaping doses.”

Ticket George used to get into the panel.

The ticket George used to get into the panel.

While overall light and entertaining, the one awkward moment during the panel occurred when Ferguson, who, fielding questions from the audience, took one from a woman wearing an Aquaman T-shirt, who said her name was Maryanne Norris. She asked Ferguson why the show’s writers hated Aquaman so much. Ferguson immediately yelled, “Because he’s not a real superhero! That’s why they hate him!”

Wil Wheaton rose to Aquaman’s defense, and also pointed out that Maryanne had said her grandfather created Aquaman. Ferguson then dramatically mimed falling on his sword when he realized his faux pas. Wheaton, a Comic-Con geek, made the name connection immediately, but Ferguson was out of his element, and in over his head.

Because no other regular cast members showed up for the panel, it was good to see Wil Wheaton make an unannounced appearance.

Will Wheaton, Bill Prady, and Steven Molaro

Will Wheaton, Bill Prady, and Steven Molaro

The panel ended with a fictional trailer, Serial Ape-Ist 2: Monkey See, Monkey Kill, starring Wheaton and Penny reprising their roles in a short but entertaining clip that made the audience go bananas. Tongue in cheek, the trailer is proof that one should not mix the DNA of a gorilla with a pretty blonde actress because she’ll go . . . ape.

It seemed the right note to end the panel on, an engaging session to satisfy the hard-core show’s fans who had stood in line for hours to see and hear the writers and producers who work behind-the-scenes to give us the funniest half hour on television today.

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Renewed for three more seasons, the show will run through its tenth season, at which point it’s “the end unless we’re told otherwise,” according to producer/writer Steven Molaro, speaking to The Hollywood Reporter.

Let’s cross our fingers and hope Molaro’s told otherwise.

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