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Stephen Hawking works his comedic chops on 'The Big Bang Theory'

April 6, 2012 | 10:51 am

Stephen Hawking on "The Big Bang Theory"Stephen Hawking may have an impeccable understanding of space-time, but his comedic timing is pretty good too. At least that's according to recent costar Simon Helberg on Twitter, who noted the theoretical physicist's "understanding of comedy in relation to time" during his appearance on "The Big Bang Theory" on Thursday.

In the episode, Howard (Helberg) subjects Sheldon (Jim Parsons) to a series of humiliating acts before he will hand Sheldon's research thesis over to the scientist. Of course, Hawking wants to compliment Sheldon in person (and point out an error in his work), so the famous scientist appears in person.

It's probably the first and only time you'll ever hear a brilliant scientist say the word "boner" on network TV.

Even though Hawking suffers from the degenerative disease related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which leaves him almost completely paralyzed and requires him to communicate through a computerized voice, he's managed to be a very visible media presence over the years.

He always plays himself, making guest appearances on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Futurama," "The Simpsons" and serving as host on the anthology series "Masters of Science Fiction."

Hawking is just the latest geek icon to guest star on the hit CBS sitcom. In past episodes, Leonard Nimoy, LeVar Burton, Stan Lee and Steve Wozniak all have made appearances.


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-- Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Stephen Hawking and Jim Parsons on "The Big Bang Theory." Credit: Sonja Flemming / CBS