Bill Prady is the co-creator of The Big Bang Theory. In honor of Stephen Hawking, and to commemorate his passing, Prady recently wrote an essay about his time on set with Hawking. Here’s what he had to say.
Stephen Hawking On Set
Stephen Hawking was one of the many science icons to guest star on The Big Bang Theory over the years. He appeared in The Hawking Excitation and was mentioned in many other episodes. The cast and crew were elated to meet such a genius. However, perhaps none were as star-struck as Bill Prady.
Prady wrote, “Without a doubt, the best thing about working on a TV show about fanboys is the opportunity to be a fanboy.” Prady and the other TBBT creators and writers have routinely invited their childhood idols to come be on the show. It’s a fun part of TBBT that fans love. Prady explained that Stephen Hawking’s visit was a whole new level of exciting: “There’s nothing remotely on par with walking into a library at Caltech and meeting the man a “Big Bang” writer much funnier than me called “the wheelchair dude who invented time.”
Prady went on to describe eating lunch with Stephen Hawking. Hawking used what muscle control he had left in his cheeks and mouth to activate a voiceover system. This is how he communicated with the world until the end of his days. Prady said, “He had assembled such a sentence a few moments before to describe his acting experience. “That was fun,” he had said.”
He Wanted To Tell A Joke
Of course, when you’re as funny as Bill Prady, you want to make a joke that will leave a lasting impression on Stephen Hawking. However, the funnyman found himself nervous, not wanting anything to offend his idol. He finally worked up the courage to say something off the cuff.
It was Prady’s realization after making the joke that really brought together the essay. He said, “Hawking was imprisoned in his body by the ravages of a cruel disease; I’ve spent my life trapped by crippling shyness. The only way I’ve found out of my confinement is jokes. And I told one to Stephen Hawking.”
We’re so glad the Big Bang Theory community got to experience Stephen Hawking’s genius before he died and we send our love to his friends and family. His presence forever changed the world.