CBS’ juggernaut comedy “The Big Bang Theory” invaded Comic-Con’s Ballroom 20 on Friday morning, with latenight host Craig Ferguson moderating a lively discussion with the writers and executive producers.
Garfunkel and Oates (comedy-folk duo Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome) — who wrote Howard’s song to Bernadette, “If I Didn’t Have You” — performed a special version of the nerdy tune at the Q&A.
Star Wil Wheaton appeared midway through the panel in an orangutan mask — an homage to “Serial Ape-ist 2: Monkey See, Monkey Kill,” the movie within the show that his character is filming with Penny (Kaley Cuoco) — and the producers showed a spectacularly campy mock trailer from the fictional flick during the session.
There was much talk of “Star Wars” at the panel, given that stars James Earl Jones and Carrie Fisher appeared in one of last season’s most memorable installments — and showrunner Steve Molaro admitted that Jones was “as delightful to work with as he was on the show.”
The producers also revealed a surprising piece of “Star Wars” trivia — since Jones was never on set when the original “Star Wars” trilogy was being filmed, the duo’s cameo on “Big Bang” marked the first time the two had ever met. “When they approached each other, the first thing Carrie said was ‘Dad!'” Molaro recalled.
Sheldon’s childhood idol, Professor Proton (Bob Newhart) may have died last season, but Molaro teased he could return in Jedi ghost form, joking that at the time of Newhart’s introduction to the show, “[we] had been nominated for three Emmy awards and hadn’t won any, and Bob Newhart came on the show one time and won one — I thought to myself, we have to kill this guy. But he can come back!”
The producers were typically coy about potential season eight plotlines, but they did tease a little about Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Amy’s (Mayim Bialik) relationship going forward. “He didn’t leave because of Amy [at the end of last season], and I’d argue they do have their own weird brand of happiness right now,” said Molaro.
The EP also revealed that they filmed a “kinder, gentler” version of Sheldon and Amy’s first kiss, just because they were paranoid about how to pull off the much-anticipated moment. In the alternate version, Sheldon “kisses her because he’s having such a lovely time on the train,” but Molaro said he was satisfied by the scene they ended up using.
“The amazing thing about these two characters is that Sheldon will not move at all, and Amy will not let him not move,” EP Bill Prady noted of the pair’s unlikely romance. “Watching Amy move Sheldon is incredible… Sheldon doesn’t want to lose her.”
The producers admitted that although Penny and Leonard (Johnny Galecki) are now engaged, we shouldn’t expect a wedding any time soon. “Penny’s first goal is to set the date far enough in the future so that everyone knows she’s not pregnant, and we’ll go from there,” Molaro laughed, teasing a very long engagement.