The Big Bang Theory is one of the smartest shows on television, past or present.
The sitcom relied on superb, dependable writing for its 12 seasons and rarely diverted off course as a result. However, there are a few instances on The Big Bang Theory where the cast couldn’t help but go off script.
Johnny Galecki is not only famous for his role as Leonard Hofstadter in the show but is also renowned for keeping it together.
After all, it’s not always easy for actors to maintain composure when reciting funny lines. These jokes are intended to make audiences laugh, so it’s only natural that actors may occasionally succumb to the same reaction.
Therefore, when Galecki was playing out a scene with co-star Simon Helberg (Howard Wolowitz), he “broke” from character. The infamous scene (2:50 into the video) was actually not scripted but Galecki’s natural reaction to the line: “I want you to know, the bed feels so lonely when you’re not in it.”
In all fairness, co-star Kunal Nayyar manages to keep a straight face during the scene, while Galecki is a complete trainwreck.
It was not the original intention of the scene, however, so endearing that producers opted to keep the take in the final cut of the episode. Thus, audiences were treated to a rare event where actors of The Big Bang Theory went off script. Nevertheless, co-stars Kaley Cuoco and Laura Spencer agree that performing scenes with Simon Helberg was difficult to maintain character due to his hilarious delivery.
The Big Bang Theory does not have the same reputation as other popular sitcoms of the era (like Friends) to go off script. The explanation for the lack of improv, according to cast members, is that there was no need for it. Melissa Rauch (Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz) compared working on The Big Bang Theory to live theatre reiterating a need to stay on point.
The words are echoed by Kevin Sussman, who received a permanent spot on the show after first appearing as a guest star. The classic “I love you” moment he shares with Kaley Cuoco was a rare time the actors attempted improv. Notwithstanding, the shift in dialogue was a wise move for Sussman who landed a full-time gig as a result.
Despite it, he agrees that the cast rarely has unscripted moments because the writing is very dependable. They’re the “best in the business,” according to Sussman.