As eccentric genius Sheldon on CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory,” Jim Parsons hasn’t changed the game of comedy, he’s just brought it back to the basics.
Like sitcom breakout stars David Hyde Pierce and Lisa Kudrow, Parsons embraces his character on a level that transcends the written page. Whether Sheldon’s going apoplectic over receiving Leonard Nimoy’s autograph on a napkin or if he genuinely can’t figure out why ditzy Penny thinks the opposite of “stupid loser” is “community college graduate,” Parsons never hits a false note as Sheldon earnestly grasps for the right reaction.
“Sheldon filters information accurately,” Parsons says. “He just short-circuits emotionally.”
“Jim’s not just saying the words,” notes “Bang” exec producer Chuck Lorre. “He physically embodies the character.”
The show’s sophomore season finale on May 11 finished second in its timeslot in adults 18-49 with a 5.9 rating/10 share — no small feat given that it airs opposite ABC’s juggernaut “Dancing With the Stars.” Parsons is a critical darling, too, having been nominated this year for an individual achievement in comedy award by the TV Critics Assn.
The one surprise about Parsons is that his two “Bang” hiatuses have remained fairly project-free.
“I applaud (Jim’s) wisdom in taking a breath,” says Lorre, who doubts that Parsons will spend a third hiatus being idle. “People will be beating down his door to work with him.”