January 17, 2019 8:49 pm

Friday, We Go Inside the Big Bang Theory with Actors, Astrophysicists, and More

On this week’s episode of StarTalk Radio, we’re witness to the perfect collision of science and pop culture as we investigate the Big Bang, and, well, The Big Bang Theory. Neil deGrasse Tyson sits down with Simon Helberg, who plays Howard Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory, and Bill Prady, co-creator of The Big Bang Theory (and returning guest from Season 2!), to explore how the most popular show on television is brought to life. In-studio, Neil is joined by comic co-host Chuck Nice, and astrophysicist Charles Liu.

Brandon Royal’s photo of Simon Helberg and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Shown: Simon Helberg and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Photo Credit: Brandon Royal.

How does a show about scientists become the number one show on TV? How did an idea like this come to fruition? You’ll learn about the early conversations Bill had with co-creator Chuck Lorre about creating a show around scientists. Simon reflects about doing the pilot episode and how the live audience’s reaction stood out among other pilots he had done. You’ll hear how some of the show’s more scientific features (dialogue, equations, etc.) are created so that real scientists won’t throw their shoes at the television.

We discuss why fans relate to The Big Bang Theory so badly. Simon explains how the show might have tapped into an army of closeted geeks and scientists. Charles tells us why geek culture has always been the culture. And, Bill tells us how the character of Leonard was partly based on his real-life experiences.

Then, we switch from one Big Bang to another. Astrophysicist and StarTalk All-Stars host Janna Levin joins the panel to help us answer some fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about the creation of the universe. We investigate what happened moments before the Big Bang. Find out how the Big Bang was not an explosion into spacetime but the explosion of spacetime itself.

What color was the Big Bang? Neil and Janna put their minds on the case. You’ll find out what new data the James Webb Space Telescope will be able to bring us upon its launch. We explore antimatter and the mysteries that surround it. All that, plus, Neil gives his final thoughts on the role of scientists on TV and in real life.

Please join us tomorrow night for Inside the Big Bang Theory, with Bill Prady and Simon Helberg at 7pm ET right here on our website, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
-Ian Mullen