Wednesday, March 21, 2012

5x21 - The Hawking Excitation

SPOILER ALERT. Following is the taping report for "The Hawking Excitation." Please credit me if you share this information anywhere.

Scene 1

Leonard, Howard, and Raj sit down at a table in the cafeteria. Howard says he got an unbelievable email. Raj says he hates to burst his bubble, but the enlargement pills don’t really work. Howard says trust him, he knows. And he says the email was from the office of Stephen Hawking – he’s going to be at the university to lecture for a few weeks, and is looking for an engineer to help maintain the equipment on his wheelchair.

Raj and Leonard get excited. Leonard suggests that Howard not do his Hawking impression in front of him. Howard (doing his impression), says Leonard is right, then said something else I never could hear clearly over the audience laughter. Raj says that Sheldon is going to flip when he hears. Leonard says yeah, he worships the man.

Howard says he thought he’d bring Sheldon along when he goes to let him meet Hawking. Raj says that’s really nice of him. Howard shrugs and says it’s no big deal. Leonard says, a restraining order from Stephen Hawking… that will look great next to the ones he already has from Leonard Nemoy, Carl Sagan, and Stan Lee.

Sheldon comes up to join them, and asks Leonard something like, “Do you remember when I told you I would revolutionalize the way people thing of the Higgs boson particle, and you told me, ‘get out of my room, it’s two in the morning’?” Leonard says yes, like it was 10 hours ago. Sheldon says that he thinks he’s done it. “And I’m only saying ‘thinks’ because I’m being modest – sweet Sam Houston, I’ve done it!” The guys say that’s great, and Raj hands him a pen and tells him to break out the math. Sheldon starts to draw something on a napkin, then tells Howard he can keep eating, he won’t understand any of this anyway. Howard says he has a working understanding of physics. Sheldon says good, keep working on it.

Raj quietly asks Howard, still gonna tell him about you know who? Howard says yup. Leonard asks, still gonna introduce them? Howard says nope. Then Howard’s last line was changed to “not on your life.”

On one take, Kunal accidentally said Johnny’s line, “still gonna introduce them?” Simon didn’t notice and said “yup.” After a pause, Johnny asked, “Then what do I say?” As they were getting ready to do it again, Kunal asked loudly, “Who said it better? Should I take that line?”

Scene 2

Sheldon and Howard walking down a hallway at the university, Sheldon asking please, please, please, please let him meet Hawking? “I even said I’m sorry.” Howard says, “No, you asked if it would help if you said you were sorry.” Sheldon says that Howard never answered him, so who owes who an apology now?

They enter Howard’s lab. Howard says that Sheldon’s a condescending jerk, why would he want to do something nice for him? Sheldon says so he’ll go to Jewish heaven. Howard says Jews don’t have heaven. Sheldon says then so he won’t go to Jewish hell. Howard asks, have you met my mother?, I live in Jewish hell. Sheldon says this might be his only opportunity to meet someone who’s on the same intellectual level as himself. Howard says, you’ve got to be kidding.

Sheldon says to try to see it from his point of view – imagine you’re the only human on a planet of dogs, and suddenly you find out there’s another human! Howard asks, so you’re saying the rest of us are dogs? Sheldon says he can see that Howard is going to take this the wrong way, so he’ll start over. Imagine you’re the only human on a planet of chimps. Howard tells him to get out. Sheldon says that chimps are so much smarter than dogs Howard still says out. Sheldon asks if it’d help if he changed it to dolphins – they’re the scholars of the sea.

Scene 3

The four guys eating at Leonard and Sheldon’s. Raj asks Howard how his first day with Hawking went. Howard says great, they talked about movies (Sheldon does this moan of pain here), he showed him some card tricks (another moan), and Hawking let him read a few pages of his new book (and another). Howard asks Sheldon if something is hurting him. Sheldon says please, he’s begging him, introduce him to Hawking!

Leonard turns to Raj and says, you’re the group historian, has Sheldon ever begged before? Raj says twice. Once was he begged Fox not to cancel Firefly. The second when he got food poisoning at the Rose Parade, and begged a deity whose existence he doubts to end it quickly. Then Raj’s line was changed to Sheldon has begged twice, and they added the new one in-between the original two – it was Sheldon begged TNT to cancel a show, but again I couldn’t hear over the laughter.

Sheldon says he doesn’t think Howard understands how much Hawking means to him – when he was a kid he dressed up like him for Halloween – he got his dad’s desk chair, attached his Speak & Spell, and had his sister push him up and down the street. Most people thought he was R2-D2, but he still got a lot of candy.

Howard says that since Sheldon doesn’t seem to be understanding “no” in English, he’ll try some other languages, and proceeds to tell him no in a number of languages, including Klingon and binary. Sheldon corrects him on his binary, then says don’t do this for him, do it for Hawking. First, Howard replied no in binary again. Then it was changed to Howard saying he’ll try ganster, “hells no!” (After doing the scene a couple times, they realized they had the binary wrong, and then had to do these lines again.)

Sheldon asks that Howard just give Hawking his paper on the Higgs boson, and then Hawking will reach out to him. Leonard asks what if he doesn’t. Sheldon says of course he will, he’s really smart. Howard says that’s an interesting idea, and tells Sheldon to give him a minute to talk it over with his friends. Sheldon asks how he does that, and Howard tells him to walk away. Sheldon jumps up and runs to the fridge, and peeks at the guys around it, then at their glares turns and gets something from the fridge.

Leonard says to Howard, you do realize you own his ass right now, and Howard says yeah. Raj says Howard can make Sheldon do whatever he wants. Howard says he’s just trying to decide how much to punish him. Raj says don’t be too hard on him. Sheldon asks if anyone wants a glass of ice tea, he’s making some. Raj says he’d like one. Sheldon says he wasn’t talking to him. Raj tells Howard, bring him to his bony knees!

Howard tells Sheldon he can come back, and claps twice, and Sheldon comes running and perches on his spot. Howard tells Sheldon he’ll give Hawking his paper, and Sheldon starts thanking him, but Howard says in exchange he has some things Sheldon will have to do for him. Sheldon asks like what. Howard asks if he’s familiar with Hercules’ twelve tasks. Sheldon says he is. Howard says “you should be so lucky.”

When they were first getting ready for this scene, a girl I know volunteered to come up to dance in front of the audience. (The MC starts off the night by getting people to come up and dance as part of a contest.) She was wearing an “I *heart* Leonard” shirt, which the MC noticed, and he hold her to turn around and show Johnny. So they got Johnny’s attention, and he say, and smiled and blew kisses. She said that she’d really love a hug from Johnny, but Johnny didn’t hear (he cupped his hand over his ears to show he didn’t understand), and the MC moved things along, “well, they’re all busy working down on set…” But he said she could dedicate her dance to Johnny/Leonard. Johnny ended up watching as she danced (normally the cast doesn’t pay attention), and he was smiling, then when she finished he came up, climbed up onto the railing, and gave her a big hug. Just another reason to love Johnny Galecki.

Scene 4

Sheldon and Howard enter Howard’s bedroom, and Sheldon asks what he should do first. Howard says he was thinking he could polish his belt buckles. Sheldon says he used to polish Meemaw’s silver while she told stories about growing up in Oklahoma – she once killed a prairie dog with a gravy boat (or it might have been some other small animal, not 100% sure).

Howard dumps all his belt buckles onto the bed. Sheldon says that’s a lot of belt buckles. Howard says yeah, 187 of them. Kind of a hobby, kind of a fetish. Then his line was changed to yeah, funny thing is he only has one belt! He tells Sheldon the little marks that look like water marks aren’t water, he tends to stand too close to the urinal, so what you’re seeing is splash back. Sheldon asks, you go sissy on your belt buckles? Meemaw’s silver never had that.

Howard gives him a black light to use to check the buckles, and says for Sheldon’s piece of mind he probably doesn’t want to shine that around the rest of the room. Howard glances up at the ceiling as he leaves, and Sheldon, disturbed, looks up too.

Scene 5

A little bit later, the belt buckles are clean and laying out in rows on Howard’s bed. Howard says they look great, magnificent crowns for his magnificent jewels. He asks how Sheldon got them so shiny. Sheldon says a coat of turtle wax – and the man at Pep Boys says from now on the urine should ball up and roll right off. Howard says his Meemaw would be proud of him for going the extra mile. Sheldon says his Meemaw should never know about this.

Sheldon asks if now Howard will give Hawking his paper, and Howard says oh, my dear boy, no. He pulls out a box, and says that this is a French maid costume that he’d gotten for Bernadette. He thought it would help spice things up, and get her to dust his room at the same time. Turns out he was wrong – and really wrong. Sheldon says, so you want me to return it? Howard says not exactly. Then Howard’s line was changed to, with a French accent, “No, mon petit cheri.”

Cut to (PRE-TAPED), Sheldon walking into the university cafeteria, wearing the French maid costume, everyone obviously starring. Sheldon asks, what, you’ve never seen a man try to get a meeting with Professor Hawking before?

Scene 6

Sheldon’s folding clothes in the laundry room. Penny comes in and says it’s not Saturday night, why’s he doing laundry? Sheldon says it’s not his laundry. Penny picks up a pair of leopard print underwear, and asks if they’re Amy’s; she says they’re kind of trashy, and “good for her!” Sheldon says they’re Howard’s, and she drops them in disgust.

She goes to put her clothes in a washer, and asks why Sheldon’s doing Howard’s laundry. Sheldon says it’s so Howard will give Stephen Hawking his paper, and starts to explain who he is, but Penny says, “I know who he is, he’s the guy in a wheelchair who invented time.” Sheldon says that’s close enough. Penny asks why Howard won’t just introduce them, and Sheldon says he’s being punished for being a condescending jerk.

He asks if Penny thinks he’s a condescending jerk. Penny starts to say, well… But Sheldon cuts it, “Oh, condescending means –“ Penny says she knows what it means, and yes, Sheldon does enjoy correcting others and putting them down. Sheldon says he’s not putting them down, he’s raising them up – and she should know, because he does it more for her than anyone else.

Penny says Sheldon enjoys correcting people, she sees the gleam in his eye when someone says whom instead of who, or thinks the moon is a planet. Sheldon, with a pointed look, says, or when someone things Don Quixote is about a donkey named Xote. On the first take, on her way out Penny says something like Sheldon may be a genius, but look who’s folding laundry. Then it was changed to asking what Sheldon wants her to say. He says tell him that Howard is punishing him for no reason. So Penny repeats it in a deadpan, and Sheldon says, “I knew it!”

Scene 7

Howard’s room, he’s in bed, Bernadette walk in with a sigh. He asks what’s wrong. She says whenever she spends the night, his mom slaps her on the but and says “go get him!” Howard says sorry, she gets like that from the something reruns (I’m blanking on what the TV show was). Then his line changed to it’s the hormone replacement therapy, it makes her really horny.

He shows her a picture on his phone, and says he got Sheldon to wear the French maid costume. Bernadette says that’s terrible. Howard says he offered it to her first. Bernadette asks why he’s being so mean. Howard says that Sheldon torments him, she’s seen how he teases him about not having a doctorate. Bernadette says if he doesn’t want to be teased about it, then get a doctorate, “I have one, it’s great!”

Howard says he’s just giving Sheldon a taste of his own medicine. Bernadette says it’s different, the part of Sheldon’s brain that should know he’s being mean doesn’t because it’s getting a wedgie from the rest of his brain. Howard says just a couple more things, then he’ll stop. Bernadette says no, he’ll stop now.

Mrs. Wolowitz yells to ask Bernadette if they’re doing it yet. Bernadette says no, but thanks for asking. (That exchange was cut in later takes.) Mrs. Wolowitz reminds Bernadette that she promised to go dress shopping with her tomorrow. Bernadette mutters, damn. Then she yells, she’s sorry but she can’t make it, but Sheldon will go with her instead! Then Bernadette says sternly to Howard, and that’s the last thing you make Sheldon do!

Scene 8

Dress shop, Sheldon’s sitting in a chair outside a dressing room. Mrs. Woliwitz calls out that she needs his help. Sheldon asks, what now? She says it’s the dress – when she puts her front in, her back pops out. When she puts her back in, her front pops out. He thinks they need to make it a team effort – grab a handful and start stuffing. Sheldon enters the dressing room (so they’re both offscreen now), and says he doesn’t know how to do this. She says pretend you’re stuffing a sleeping bag. Sheldon says sleeping bags were never this sweaty, but alright.

She tells him now zip her up. Sheldon says he thinks if they put any more pressure on her, she’ll turn into a diamond. Mrs. Wolowitz sadly says he’s right, and he should have seen her when she was younger - all the boys brought her boxes of chocolates – why did she eat them all? Then she asks Sheldon to hold her. He says he’s not really the holding type, and he starts to exit the dressing room, but then he gets dragged back in.

Scene 9

Leonard, Raj, and Howard at the guys’ apartment, playing some game. Howard says he almost forgot, he got them Hawking souvenirs, and hands them little gears and springs. He did something to improve the motor on the wheelchair, but then when he finished, he couldn’t for the life of him figure out where those pieces went.

Sheldon enters, and says it took a number of stores, but they finally found a dress that would envelope Howard’s mother. Howard says he should have given Sheldon the name of the car covers place in Alta Dena, they have his mother’s numbers on file. Sheldon gives his sarcastic laugh, then asks if Howard will give Hawking his paper now.

Howard says there’s just one thing left, and it’s an easy one – he wants Sheldon to give him a compliment. Sheldon says fine, he has small hands. Howard says no, a compliment about his job – he wants Sheldon to tell him that he’s good at what he does. Sheldon says obviously Howard is good at what he does. Howard asks then why does Sheldon make fun of him all the time. Sheldon says that Howard is good at what he does, but he still doesn’t think that it’s worth doing. Leonard tells Howard that’s better than anything Sheldon’s told him, he’d run with it.

Sheldon asks if now Howard will give him the paper, and Howard still says no. Sheldon asks why not, he’s cleaned his urine belt buckles, he wore the French maid outfit. Howard says because he already gave Hawking the paper three days ago, and he liked it and wants to meet Sheldon. Sheldon says oh, good, and to tell Hawking that he’s available at his earliest convenience.

Sheldon stands and walks down the hall to his room. Raj says he thought Sheldon would have been a little more excited. Leonard says to give it a second, then we hear Sheldon’s excited whoop.

Scene 10 (PRE-TAPED)

Sheldon and Hawking are inside some university library. Sheldon says it’s such an honor to meet Hawking. Hawking replies, I know. He says something about Sheldon’s paper being really good, and Sheldon replies, I know. Hawking says something else going on about Sheldon’s thesis, and Sheldon says he came up with it in the shower. Hawking says it’s wrong – Sheldon made an arithmetic mistake on the second page.

Sheldon says he doesn’t make arithmetic mistakes. Hawking asks if Sheldon’s saying he does. Sheldon says no. He flips through his paper, finds the mistake, can’t believe he made it in front of Stephen Hawking, and faints. Hawking says great, a fainter.


  1. Thanks again Roxanne! You're the greatest!

  2. jajajajaja...poor Sheldon. Thank you so much Roxanne for your report.This episode was hilarious

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  4. The only thing I can think about is Sheldon in the maid outfit...Roxanne, love, you've got to tell me how he looks.....

    Anyway, thanks for the taping report! I laughed a lot here and I'm very excited about it n.n

  5. Stephen Hawking as a guest star - how cool is that! :)

  6. That episode will be WIN! Thanks for the report. BTW, I have attended a couple tapings myself and I was a bit disappointed. TBBT has to have the most unfunny, boring cast ever. Those people are all business and work. And yeah, I know it's all business and work for them, but they hardly make any effort to interact with the audience and most of the time you have the feeling the are playing in a drama show.

    1. Really? I wonder which other casts you've seen that you're comparing them to? A huge part of the reason I go all the time is I enjoy watching the cast themselves, and their interactions and such between scenes. It's true they typically don't go out of their way to interact with the audience (though there are exceptions, like this week with Johnny), but I didn't expect them to in the first place.

  7. #NeedsMoreAmy She'll be back for 5x22, yes?

    Thanks very much for this report (as always).

  8. I had the closed captions on when I watched this episode, and thought that Howard got the binary right, and Sheldon's correction was wrong. However, I had to rewind it a couple times to realize that the dialogue didn't match the captions. In the audio, Howard says 01101110 01100111 ("NG") and Sheldon corrects the second byte to 01101111 ("O"). The captions had Howard saying 01101111 and Sheldon saying 01100111. Since you said they had to do a second take to correct the binary, perhaps the captioners got the wrong scene, or perhaps the initial script was wrong. Of course, my wife and roommate who I was watching this with gave me strange looks when I pointed this out...

    1. Interesting... At least they ended up getting it right in the audio!

  9. Actually what Howard said was 'Altadena' which is where the the apt. bldg would be located (if their address existed).