How Impersonating Stephen Hawking Made Howard Feel


In The Hawking Excitation, Stephen Hawking came to the Big Bang Theory set to make a splash with the characters. Simon Helberg, in particular, got quite a bit of close contact with the great physicist and remembers what meeting him was really like.

Stephen Hawking’s Passing

The scientific community, The Big Bang Theory fandom, and entire world mourned the loss of Stephen Hawking early Wednesday morning. The great physicist contributed so much to science and our understanding of the world. He continued his pursuit of knowledge and life well after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was an inspiration to many, and a hero to The Big Bang Theory cast. Johnny Galecki wrote, “RIP #stephenhawking Not only your brilliance, but your sense of humor will be sorely missed by all. “Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.” — Stephen Hawking” in a memorial Instagram post.

It was Hawking’s passion for comedy that brought him to The Big Bang Theory set. Of course, he had already been mentioned on the show several times. In particular, Simon Helberg had done an impression of the scientist in the Pilot episode and was nervous to meet the man behind the voice in person. However, Simon says he took it very well. He explained that the cast and crew had always wanted Hawking to come on the show. “It was so surreal. I had done an impression of him in the pilot, and a few times throughout the show. We had always mentioned him he had always been this sort of dream guest. They got him,” he said.

Simon’s Stephen Hawking Impression

Simon was then tasked with a somewhat awkward situation. He said, “I had to do this scene where I did an impression of him, for him… He’s severely disabled and I am kind of making fun of his voice… I have to do this thing in front of him and I asked the producers to clear it… I did the impression and my heart was beating through my chest and I stood up and saluted him after in the middle of the scene. And he smiled, It was really one of the craziest things.” We love that Stephen Hawking was able to see the humor and seems like such a genuinely cool, while also brilliant, guy. May he rest in peace, we are so glad we got to see a glimpse of him on The Big Bang Theory.