You’d probably assume that this song was specifically written for the show. After all, it perfectly fits the nerdtastic premise and themes of the comedy series. However, your assumption would be wrong.
Ed Robertson is the lead singer of The Barenaked Ladies and had been reading Simon Singh’s book, Big Bang: The Most Important Scientific Discovery of All Time and Why You Need to Know About It. He was so inspired by this light reading that he decided to freestyle a few verses about the book while performing at a concert in Los Angeles.
Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady just happened to be at that show. They also just happened to be developing The Big Bang Theory during that time period. You could say the rest is history. The pair looked at each other and immediately wanted the lead singer to write The Big Bang Theory theme song.
I’m sure you remember how it goes:
“Our whole universe was in a hot dense state,
Then nearly 14 billion years ago expansion started. Wait…
The Earth began to cool.
The autotrophs began to drool.
Neanderthals developed tools.
We built a wall (we built the pyramids).
Math, science, history, unraveling the mystery
That all started with the Big Bang!”
Ed Robertson Makes Demands
Interestingly enough, after Ed wrote the original 32-second version of the song, the producers asked him to cut it in half. He recorded the new 15-second version with just him and an acoustic guitar and Chuck Lorre loved it.
However, Ed refused to sign the deal unless his band members could be a part of the process. That’s a loyal band member right there. Turns out that’s a good thing because Lorre has said he likes the full version even more.