Few series or for that matter movies are as perfectly calibrated to the Comic-Con sensibility as CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory,” which drew a huge and not surprisingly wildly enthusiastic crowd.
Where else would an audience howl at the mention of “Rock paper scissors lizard Spock,” one of the show’s gags, or would an attendee ask for star Jim Parsons’ DNA in order to clone him? (The latter is another joke from the series — Parsons’ character gets Leonard Nimoy’s DNA off a napkin — and Parsons obliged by dabbing his forehead with a tissue and giving it to the appreciative fan.)
Exec producer Chuck Lorre said fans like those at Comic-Con are “part of our conversation every day,” and co-creator Bill Prady noted that having been a fanboy himself, “It’s amazing to be on the other side of that kind of relationship with fans.” Lorre added that he doesn’t expect the series to become bluer or more risque now that it will be airing at a later hour following his other CBS hit, “Two and a Half Men.”
Several of the questions centered on Parsons’ Emmy nomination for the program. Not surprisingly, some of the audience queries were so breathlessly giddy as to be a little uncomfortable — to the cast, “How do you feel about seeing yourselves on screen?” (um, dude, they’re actors) — but the obvious affection in the room underscores why such a show loves coming to this venue, despite some of its stranger attributes. Of course, one suspects as the convention keeps growing that studio and network publicists feel a trifle differently, but that’s a topic I’ll tackle in another post.
Although I’ve talked in a recent column about Comic-Con yielding false positives from the adoring crowds, “Big Bang” (already renewed for two more years) does seem prepared to take a commercial leap forward with “Men” as its lead-in and NBC likely to be weaker on Mondays. So when one fan asked if being associated with the show has changed the cast and crew’s perception of the word “nerd,” an appropriate response could have been, “Nerd, geek, whatever. As long as they’re the key to syndication money, we love ’em all.”