In memory of the late Professor Stephen Hawking, The Big Bang Theory showrunner confirms that the show will pay tribute to the theoretical physicist in an upcoming episode.
Currently in its eleventh season, the comedy stylings of The Big Bang Theory has stood the test of time as it focusses a group of outcast nerds and their daily lives. However, part of what has made the show such a hit has been its many guest appearances by famous faces from the world of sci-fi and beyond. Alongside the likes of Katee Sackhoff, Buzz Aldrin, George Takei, and Leonard Nimoy, arguably one of the show's biggest names to land a credit was Stephen Hawking.
Appearing as himself or providing a voiceover, Hawking starred in seven episodes of The Big Bang Theory - stretching back to season 5's "The Hawking Excitation" - and would've undoubtedly continued to star in more if not for his death. Speaking at PaleyFest (via Digital Spy) showrunner Steve Holland outlined his plans for the show's future and an upcoming tribute to Hawking:
"Obviously, anything we shoot now doesn't air for seven or eight weeks, so it's hard for us to be timely, but we're going to do something to honour him, because he was a huge part of the show and we were all lucky enough to get to spend a day with him hanging out on the set. We get to meet a lot of neat people on the show… but how many shows do get to hang out with Stephen Hawking for a show, when you write a comedy show? That's a rare and special thing."
While Holland didn't reveal when The Big Bang Theory would take a moment to remember Hawking, it sounds like the cast might film a scene to slot unto a future episode before the season is out.
Hawking passed away on March 14, leaving the world of science to mourn his loss. Among the notable celebrities who offered their condolences, the cast of Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady's science sitcom shared their support via social media. In particular, Jim Parsons wrote a touching tribute to the time he had working with Hawking on The Big Bang Theory. With increasing rumors that season 12 could be the last for The Big Bang Theory, at least Hawking got his time to shine at the peak of the show's popularity. However, there is definitely a gap left behind thanks to his absence.
Over the years, Hawking gave his voice many animated shows such as The Simpsons and Futurama, but The Big Bang Theory saw Hawking in the flesh. Given that Sheldon had Hawking's permission to propose to Amy in the season 11 premiere, could the Cooper wedding be the perfect time to remember him? Other big stars set for the finale include Laurie Metcalf and Jerry O'Connell, so any Hawking tribute should be more than just a simple post-credit dedication. Back in season 9, the show honored the late Leonard Nimoy and even brought his son into The Big Bang Theory, so expect Holland to pull out all the stops for Hawking.
Source: Digital Spy