CBS’s juggernaut sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” is currently running in to its seventh year on television and shows little signs of slowing down, with smash ratings, and a humongous fan base. The series has been a consistent source of guest stars for fan boys and science fans across the country with some of the funniest and most surprising appearances from folks like Levar Burton to Neil Degrasse Tyson. Here are ten of our Top Ten Guest Stars of the series, so far.
10. Steven Yeun
He wasn’t a huge star when he first appeared on the series, but it’s funny to see how Steve Yeun, star of “The Walking Dead” made a brief appearance on the show. Yeun plays Sheldon’s first roommate Sebastian who may have lived with him for a few years, or just a few weeks. When Leonard appears, Yeun’s character asks “You the new roommate?” After Leonard confirms, he warns “Run away, dude. Run far, run fast.”
9. Katee Sackhoff
Katee Sackhoff is a gorgeous woman, so it’s only sensible that sex pot Howard Wolowitz would fantasize about her. Sackhoff only appears two or three times in the first few seasons as a means of serving as Wolowitz’s masturbatory fantasies, but also offers the idea that his expectations are unrealistic toward women. This gives him motivation to win back the equally beautiful Bernadette, while Sackhoff was phased out as a recurring guest.
8. Keith Carradine
We also got the idea that Penny’s father wanted Penny to be a boy instead, but we’re given a better insight when Keith Carradine appears as her father, Wyatt. Under the idea that Penny and Leonard are still a couple, he is bowled over by Penny dating a smart guy like Leonard, and is angered when Penny finally admits they’re not together. The kicker is when Wyatt begs Leonard not to give up on Penny declaring “I want grand children before I die, and I want them to grow up in a house without wheels.”
7. Stephen Hawking
“The Hawking Excitation” is one of the best episodes of the series, where Wolowitz gets his sweet revenge on Sheldon, once and for all. After being hired by Stephen Hawking to work on his wheelchair, Sheldon pleads with Howard to let him meet his idol. Wolowitz puts him through a series of torturous tasks to humble him, including polishing his pee stained belt buckle collection, and wearing a maid outfit. When Sheldon finally meets Hawking, he passes out after realizing he’s made a mathematical error on a paper he sent the man. It’s priceless.
6. Stan Lee
“The Excelsior Equation” in season three is probably as close as it gets to being a love letter to Marvel Comics and Stan Lee as the entire Macguffin of the episode involves the guys preparing to meet Stan “The Man” Lee. Sadly Sheldon has to be called to traffic court for a ticket and miss out on a one time meeting with Lee. Most of the episode involves Raj riffing on Lee’s lack of creativity in naming his characters like Peter Parker, Dum Dum Dougan, J Jonah Jameson, Fin Fang Foom, etc., the guys boasting about having smoothies with the man, their plan to get him to sign a Batman comic book, and the final meeting as Sheldon and Penny meet Stan who expresses immense annoyance at their interruption and rewards Sheldon with a restraining order. You have to love Stan, more than willing to throw his fan base a bone every so often.
5. Laurie Metcalf
Metcalf played Jackie Harris on “Roseanne” opposite Johnny Galecki for years, and on the series she’s a scene stealer as Sheldon’s religious and conservative mother Mary Cooper. While all of the other characters spend time trying to endure Sheldon, Mary knows how to work her way with Sheldon to make him follow her rules, and has a great heart, in spite of her differing views on religion from Sheldon.
4. Leonard Nimoy
Working around the fact that Leonard Nimoy wasn’t intent on acting, and the plot point that Sheldon was given a restraining order by the actor, Sheldon sees Nimoy in a dream through an action figure. When Penny buys Sheldon and Leonard Star Trek transporters, action figure Spock tempts Sheldon in to playing with it. Oddly enough he also convinced Sheldon to admit that he broke his toy and switched it with Leonard’s own, allowing audiences a look in to the extent toward Sheldon’s love for the character of Spock.
3. Summer Glau
Is it hot in here? It must be Summer! Imagine the surprise of many audiences of “Big Bang Theory” when none other than fan boy goddess (who I still theorize is more than human!) Summer Glau stepped on board the same train as the “Big Bang” guys who are not surprisingly smitten and breath taken by her and spend hours trying to figure out the proper way to introduce themselves to her. This scene is most genuine as we can only imagine this is Summer’s constant experiences with fan boys around the world thanks to her fame from “Firefly” and “Terminator” as they indulge her in corny pick up lines, and blunt honesty only to test the patience of Summer who is at first kind and open and then wants nothing more than to leave the train as fast as humanly possible. Glau’s appearance is definitely one of the best guest spots.
2. Wil Wheaton
Becoming a hilarious running gag for the show over the course of the series, we learn in season three that Sheldon has a bonafide rivalry and disgust toward fan boy supreme Wil Wheaton who meets him while playing an RPG Card Game during a tournament at their local comic shop. Sheldon is of course hateful toward the man who wonders why he’s so loathsome toward his presence ending in a crushing defeat from Wheaton. He of course meets the guys again for a bowling match as they team up to form the “Wesley Crushers” solidifying his presence as the scourge of the Big Bang Universe! Eventually they become good friends, but Wheaton is always a welcome presence who adds obstacles to every episode. Wheeeaaaton!
1. Bob Newhart
The role that earned him his first Emmy, legendary comedian Bob Newhart plays Professor Proton, a children’s show host who became a party entertainer. When Sheldon and Leonard decide to get nostalgic, they hire him for a party, and Proton is shocked and confused to see he’s entertaining two grown men. Even more hilarious is that Penny is absolutely amazed by his seemingly simple grade school experiments like powering a clock with a potato.