Wednesday, January 22, 2014

7x15 - The Convention Conundrum

I was able to be in the audience as they taped The Convention Conundrum last night, so follow the cut for a full report of the episode!


The four guys are at Leonard and Sheldon’s, all with their laptops and looking very nervous. Howard announces 60 seconds – Raj says it all comes down to this, Leonard says he has butterflies. Sheldon tells Leonard to man up or he’ll hit his glasses off his face.

Penny walks in and Leonard starts to explain to her that they’re getting ready to buy Comic-Con tickets. Howard announces 45 seconds. Leonard says it sells out super fast, but if just one of them makes it through – and then Sheldon cuts him off and says that this isn’t time for flirting, keep it in his pants. Penny says something about this being too much weird for before coffee, and goes over to the kitchen area.

Howard says 30 seconds. Raj says he has to pee. Sheldon says he tells him every year to wear a diaper, Raj says that he gets diaper burn. Fifteen seconds. Leonard says “this is it” a few times, and uses his inhaler. Howard counts down from five, Sheldon yells “it’s live!”, and all four of them madly start hitting the refresh keys on their laptops. After a bit Raj asks if anyone made it in, they all say no, and Sheldon yells to keep refreshing their screens. So they keep madly hitting the refresh button, repeating “Refresh! Refresh! Refresh!” the whole time. Penny looks down at her mug, and says this isn’t going to be enough coffee.


The guys are still refreshing, but less frantically. Howard says that it’s been ten minutes, they’re going to run out of time. Penny says something about them running out of time to be cool. Leonard exclaims that he made it through, and the guys jump up and crowd behind his chair, and Sheldon says something like “and they say firemen are the true heroes.”

Howard asks what number Leonard is in the queue, and turns out he’s fifteen thousand something. Only Thursday and Sunday tickets are left, and then the Thursday ones are suddenly gone. Sheldon says that Sunday’s the worst, everyone’s leaving, all the good panels are over, and the only shirts left are small or XXXX large. Then Sunday sells out too, and Sheldon’s all, “oh no, I love Sundays!”

It sinks in that they’re not going to Comic-Con this year (and this got an “awww” from the audience, until they told us to be quiet there), and Sheldon, not very convincingly, says it’ll be okay, there’s still WonderCon in Anaheim that’s just as good… Then he excuses himself and goes over to the fridge and opens the door, and we just see his back as he starts to cry.

Penny’s just been sitting on a stool watching all of this, and she says, guys, this is really sad… and in a different way than it was twenty minutes ago. Sheldon turns back and says he can’t believe they spent all that time on their Hulk costumes. Penny asks, you were all going as Hulk? Howard says not the same Hulk, then clarifies somehow how they were each going to be different. Raj says they were going to be the angry green bells of the masquerade ball, and the other guys all agree. Penny says now this is sad in the first way again.


The guys are eating lunch at work, and Sheldon says that he’s come up with a solution to their Comic-Con problem – he’s going to start his own convention. Leonard tells Sheldon he should just get scalped tickets like the rest of them, Howard’s already found a guy who’s selling some. Sheldon says that that’s against the rules, and if they’re caught they’ll be banned from Comic-Con for life, and won’t Leonard feel silly when they’re 80 and he has to drive Sheldon down to Comic-Con and then wait in the car for three days.

Leonard tells Sheldon to do what he wants, but they’re getting scalped tickets, and Howard says something about how Sheldon won’t be able to start his own convention. Sheldon says that Comic-Con didn’t exist at one point either, until one man thought of it and made it happen, and now Sheldon is going to rip him off.


Sheldon’s at his desk on his cell phone, telling someone about how he’s starting his own convention, and he thinks that their client Robert Downey Jr would make a great panelist. Sheldon asks why they said no without even asking him. He says he saw that Robert went to that hospital the other week to visit the kids, why wouldn’t he do this? Sheldon asks, “did I mention I’m dying?” and coughs. The person hangs up on him.

Sheldon turns to a large white board next to him with a lot of names (many of which are already crossed off) and crosses off Robert Downey Jr’s name. After Sheldon comments that he was hung up on, Leonard asks if he told them how the convention was going to be in a Marie Calendar’s, and that all the panelists would get a free slice of pie. Sheldon says he didn’t have a chance.

Leonard tells him that, look, even your buddy Wil Wheaton thinks this is a bad idea. Sheldon says no, Wil thinks it’s a great idea, he just doesn’t think he’s a big enough name to headline such an awesome convention. Leonard says he just doesn’t think this is going to work. Sheldon says he still has a lot of possible names left, and asks Leonard to call Leonard Nemoy, Stan Lee, and Bill Nye, because legally Sheldon’s not allowed to, and Carrie Fisher, because Sheldon hears that she’s nuts.


The girls are all at Penny’s apartment. Penny says she can’t believe that Leonard’s going to spend hundreds of dollars on Comic-Con tickets. Amy says that Penny spent that much last week on a dress. Penny says yes, but those tickets will only get him into Comic-Con, and that dress can get her in anywhere.

Bernadette agrees the tickets are really expensive, Howard had to ask her for an advance on his allowance – and now she'll never be able to get him to pick up his toys. Amy says their boyfriends should be more like Sheldon, who’s starting his own convention. After a pause, she asks who’d like to throw her out the window. (Like she realizes how ridiculous she sounded.)

Bernadette says the guys are acting like teenagers, and on the first take Penny said they were like teenagers she used to throw in the dumpsters, but then that line was cut. Bernadette suggests they go do something more grownup, and Amy asks, like going to a museum? Penny’s like, yes!, but not that. Bernadette says there’s a hotel that offers an afternoon tea, and Amy says that sounds sophisticated. Penny says if they’re going to get fancy, she’s going to change into clean underwear. Bernadette says, “well la-di-da, look who has clean underwear.” Penny says no, they’re stopping at Target on the way.


Guys’ apartment, Leonard tells Howard and Raj that now that Sheldon’s not going to Comic-Con, they should think of a good three person theme for their costumes. Raj suggests the Fantastic Four, and they can just tell people that the Invisible Woman is standing right next to them. Howard says, “and I thought my days of pretending I’m with women who don’t exist were over.”

Sheldon walks in from the hallway to announce to the other three that he’s just one step away from securing a big panelist for his convention. Leonard asks if that step includes chloroform and duct tape. Sheldon says he doesn’t think that will be necessary for James Earl Jones – the voice of Darth Vader, right hand man to the Emperor, and – spoiler alert – Luke’s father. Then Sheldon’s line was changed to describing him as Darth Vader, the father of the Lion King, and the voice that says “this is CNN.” First after the CNN line, Sheldon added dismissively, “as if you can’t read that on the screen.” Then that line was changed to Sheldon saying that also sounds like Darth Vader.

Raj asks Sheldon how he’s getting James Earl Jones. Sheldon says that he had tweeted that he’s having dinner at his favorite sushi restaurant, so Sheldon googled an interview from four years ago that was held at that restaurant and reveals which it is. Sheldon says, “That’s where he will be tonight, that’s where I will be, and –” and Howard cuts him off and says, “and that’s where Darth Vader will pour soy sauce on Sheldon’s head.”

Leonard tells Sheldon not to be creepy and stalk him, because he’ll get in trouble. Sheldon says that they’re the ones who are going to get in trouble. Not only can they get banned from Comic-Con, but if they’re caught, they can be charged with petty theft. He tells them to think about that while he… and I forgot the rest of his line there.

Sheldon leaves singing the Imperial March, and you can hear him get quieter as he goes down the stairs, then he comes back because he forgot his keys.


Pretaped – the girls are at afternoon tea at the hotel, but all the tables surrounding them are filled with little girls and their moms. One of them comments that they can’t believe they thought this would make them feel more grown up. Amy says the last time she had a tea party she was five, and it was with her teddy bear, Raggedy Ann doll, and her hamster. Bernadette or Penny comments that that’s cute, then Amy says “until the hamster ate her babies,” and it got not cute fast.

There’s some more dialogue that I’m forgetting, but at one point Bernadette says she can’t believe the waitress thought that she was Penny’s daughter. Eventually someone suggests they go to the bar in the lobby, Bernadette says she could go for a drink, and Amy jokes that she’s drinking in the afternoon like her mommy.


James Earl Jones is sitting by himself in the restaurant, and Sheldon is standing a few feet away, just staring at him in giddy silence. Jones asks, Star Wars fan? Sheldon nods. “You know I’ve been in other movies, right?” Nod. “But you don’t care about those, do you?” Sheldon shakes his head. Jones motions for Sheldon to come closer, and when Sheldon does, he says, “I have one thing to say to people like you.” Then Jones gets this huge smile and says very happily, “I like Star Wars too!” And he offers the other seat at this table to Sheldon, who of course accepts. (All the scenes with Jones were only done once.)


Back to the rest of the guys at Leonard and Sheldon’s. Raj is on a Comic-Con forum on his phone, says he found a guy that got caught using someone else’s badge, and yup, he was charged with petty theft. Raj tells them he can’t go to jail in a Human Torch costume, it will send the wrong message.

Leonard says that maybe this is a bad idea after all. Howard asks if he should text the ticket guy and tell them they changed their mind, and Raj says to do it. Then Leonard stands and says wait, they always do this, they’re too scared of getting in trouble, so they never do anything wrong. Raj says that’s because they’re the good guys. Leonard says that even Batman breaks the rules sometimes, and Raj says “you know I have my issues with Batman.”

Leonard goes on about how they should be badasses for a change, and Raj stands and says he’s in, so long as Leonard pinky-promises to be a badass too. Leonard agrees, and they hook pinkies, and ask Howard if he’s in. Howard says no need, he breaks rules all the time. Raj asks like what. Howard says last night he drank Pepto straight from the bottle. Raj asks, what about the little cup they give you? Howard goes, “Yeah? What about it?” And he just leans back in his chair as he flips through a comic book. Raj asks Leonard, are you impressed? Leonard says yes, and Raj says he is too.


Back to Sheldon and James Earl Jones, talking eagerly about something, Star Wars maybe? Sheldon tells him how his roommate told him not to go and bother him because he’d get in trouble, Jones says Leonard sounds like a weenie, and Sheldon giddily agrees that he is. Jones suggests that they leave and go have some fun, his wife is in New York, and he has a residual check from the Lion King burning a hole in his pocket.


Howard gets off his cell phone and tells Raj and Leonard that the ticket guy is running late. Raj asks if he sounded like a criminal. Howard’s confused, so Raj goes on, asking, “Did he say ‘yous guys,’ or ‘listen here, see’?” Leonard says yes, he’s late because he’s coming from the 1940s.

Raj says he’s worried that maybe this guy will steal their money, or their kidneys, or their skin to make suits. Howard asks, “Why would anyone want to make clothes out of your skin?” Raj says maybe because dark skin shows less stains. Leonard says now he’s wondering if they should have suggested to meet in a more neutral location. Howard says, “That’s why I suggested your place.” And Raj grins and points at Howard, like he’s agreeing.


The girls at the hotel bar. Amy says the only good thing about the tea as all the little girls were jealous of her tiara – and that felt good. Penny asks them when they felt like they grew up, because she still doesn’t feel like she has. Bernadette says she thought she’d feel grown up when she got married, but she still feels like she’s pretending – plus it doesn’t help that she buys her clothes from Gap Kids.

Penny says she saw an old man fall the other day, “And I laughed. A lot. Loud. He would have heard me if he was conscious.” Bernadette and Amy just stare at her, and Amy says “gosh,” and Penny goes on and starts to laugh, saying how a tennis ball came off a leg of his walker, and hit him in the head, and she thought she was going to wet herself… Then she stops laughing and says “I guess you had to be there.”

Bernadette says that sometimes she tells Howard she has meetings in Orange County, and then she spends the day at Disneyland by herself. Penny says that she’d go with her, but Bernadette’s all “you know they don’t serve alcohol there, right?” and Penny says then they shouldn’t call it the happiest place on Earth. (On the second take, this whole Disneyland bit was cut.)

Amy says she has them both beat, and it’s hard to feel grown up when you’ve never even been with a man. Penny tells her that sex isn’t what makes you a grown up. Bernadette says to Penny, “Right, or you’d be the oldest one here.” First, Penny’s response was to just glare at Bernadette. Then they gave her a line instead – “Is that how you talk to your mother?”


Sheldon and Jones at an ice cream parlor, sharing what looks like a banana split or something. Sheldon asks, is it true that you had a stutter as a child and were effectively mute for eight years? Jones says that’s right. Sheldon asks if they really used scuba equipment for the sound of Darth Vader’s breathing. Yup. Was he really a pre-med in school and almost became a doctor? Yup.

Then Sheldon goes, “James, I could just listen to your stories all night!” The whole time Jones was just grinning and happily answering Sheldon’s questions, then in the end ate a big scoop of whipped cream.


Howard says the ticket guy just parked and is on his way up. The guys are excited about being badasses and breaking the rules, so what if they get banned or fined. Howard says he’ll be an astronaut and a badass, the ladies won’t be able to keep their pants on. Raj, still all devil-may-care, is all, “What if it comes up on my citizenship application?” Then it hits him, and he asks again seriously, what if it comes up on his application? Leonard wonders if this is the sort of thing they’d have to disclose when applying for grants. Raj is worried and asks what they’re going to do.

Howard calls them babies and says he’ll take care of this, walks over to the door and turns off the lights, and says “if the lights are off he won’t know we’re here.” Someone knocks, and Howard jumps away from the door. Raj asks what happened to being a badass, and Howard tells him he lied, he uses the cup.


The girls still at the bar, Penny asks what’s so great about being a grown up anyway. Bernadette says for one thing, they’d be splitting the bill three ways, and we see her and Amy both counting out cash. Penny goes on, there’s insurance, mortgage payments, leaving a note when you ding a parked car… Amy tells Bernadette, “I told you it was Penny!” First, Penny’s response was “my car got dented too!” Then it was changed to, “It wasn’t me who knocked off your side mirror! …or whatever it was that happened to your car.”

Amy says maybe the guys had the right idea after all, and they’re probably having a lot more fun right now than they’ve been having.

Then we see the guys standing together in the kitchen area of the apartment, the lights still off, and there’s still someone knocking at the door. Raj asks why isn’t he leaving, and Leonard shushes him, “he’ll hear you!” Howard says “I could really use exactly two ounces of Pepto right now.”


Then a bunch of pre-taped stuff with Sheldon and James Earl Jones. First, the two of them on top of a Ferris wheel, and Sheldon is holding a giant teddy bear. Sheldon yells to the people below that he’s hanging out with James Earl Jones, and he’s a lot nicer than you’d expect! Then Jones yells out, “I am!” and starts rocking their basket, and Sheldon gets scared and asks him to stop.

Next we see them singing karaoke – The Lion Sleeps tonight! And after a few lines Sheldon tells him, “Take it away Mufassa!”

Then they’re creeping up to the front door of a house. Sheldon asks where they are, and Jones tells him it’s Carrie Fisher’s house, and to run fast cause she’s nuts. He rings the doorbell, and they both take off running. Carrie Fisher comes out angry, and yells that she knows it was James, and this isn’t funny! I think he yelled back something like, “Then why am I laughing?”

Finally we see the two of them in a sauna, wrapped in towels, and Jones says this is the perfect way to end the day. Sheldon says he would have probably ended it after the karaoke. Jones asks him, what were you asking me at the strip club? Sheldon thinks a moment, then says it was, “How much money to get them of my lap?” Jones says no, about the convention.

So Sheldon explains about how they weren’t able to get Comic-Con tickets, so he’d like to start his own convention and have him as a panelist. Jones says that Sheldon and his friends can comes to Comic-Con with him as his guests. Plus, it’s right across from his favorite city, Tijuana! He’s planning on taking Sheldon there every night. Sheldon's not thrilled with that idea, and  goes, “Ay yay yay.” Jones excitedly says, “Ay yay yay bang bang!”


The tag is the two of them still in the sauna, Jones excitedly going on talking about some story that involves a lot of other people, and Sheldon is trying not to nod off as he’s listening.

Sadly there weren't really any fun bloopers last night, or much behind-the-scenes stuff to share. Kunal did go in a sing-song voice "I want a martini" as they were getting ready to do a take of the last scene he was in, which was hilarious. And when Johnny and Kaley came up to thank the audience near the end, Johnny spoke first, then he said he was turning us over to "Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting." (She's still "Kaley Cuoco" in the program, and that's how she was announced with the rest of the cast at the start and end of the show.)


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  2. Waooo, is this real?? Sheldon hanging out with James Earl Jones is like way to cool. In fact, I was thinking that it all might be a Sheldon's dream. Anyway, thanks for writing it :D