For his landmark 700th vanity card, Chuck Lorre chose physics. Lorre’s 700th card happened to coincide with the 100th episode of “Young Sheldon,” which he co-created and executive produces with Steve Molaro. And so, given the scientific nature of the character of Sheldon Cooper, it made sense to share a physics equation that adds up to… 100.
Immediately following “Young Sheldon” on CBS this Thursday night was another show Lorre executive produces, “United States of Al,” which ended with Lorre’s 701st card. Which, naturally, poked fun at the 700th card:
Lorre’s self-penned vanity cards have been a signature part of most of his series for 25 years, starting with “Dharma and Greg,” and then moving on to “Two and a Half Men,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Mike & Molly” and “Mom.” His current series “Young Sheldon,” “Bob Hearts Abishola,” “B Positive” and “United States of Al” have also featured the cards. (Lorre opted not to on his Netflix single-camera series “The Kominsky Method,” however.)
Lorre began the tradition with “Dharma and Greg” in 1997, when he was given a second at the end of each episode to flash a vanity card — which is usually a logo of the writer’s production company.
Lorre instead decided to use the time to run an essay about interference from the network. It was the age before DVRs, so few noticed. But as he kept on writing new ones, week after week, viewers began to slowly hit pause on their VCRs to make out the tiny words.
“It has been a great opportunity to try and write something that isn’t a script,” Lorre told us in 2012. “I got into a lot of trouble once people started reading them. For every vanity card I’ve written for the last four or five years there’s probably 10 sets of lawyer eyeballs on each one. It’s an interesting process to even make them now, there’s so much scrutiny.”
In 2012, Lorre compiled select cards into the book “What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Bitter.” Proceeds from the sale of the book benefited many health care–related charities and educational efforts, including the Venice Family Clinic. The entire collection of cards can be viewed at chucklorre.com.