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The Big Bang Theory was quite a ride for fans of the long-running sitcom, but you will probably easily believe that it was even more of a wild experience for the cast, many of whom became superstars during the show's 12-season run. While they all seem to look back at their time on the CBS hit with a lot of fond memories, Kaley Cuoco just revealed that they did have at least one big issue over the course of their time on the air.
If you've spend any significant amount of time watching episodes of The Big Bang Theory, you'll know that many guest stars came and went (and frequently came again) through the lives of good friends Penny, Bernadette, Amy, Raj, Leonard, Howard, and Sheldon. Many of these were famous, real life scientists, but quite a few were also actors who came on to play versions of themselves. During a chat with WandaVision's Elizabeth Olsen for Variety's Actors On Actors series, Kaley Cuoco opened up about how many of those actors had never done a sitcom before and how it affected the show, saying:
Obviously, that’s my whole life. Especially with The Big Bang Theory, we’d have these guest stars come on, and some of them were wonderful dramatic actors or whatever, and they would feel so lost for a while. It really is so musical. Because I grew up with it, and I did it for so long, it’s so natural for me. It’s very different if you haven’t done it.
This is something I wouldn't have really considered beforehand, but what Kaley Cuoco said does make a lot of sense. Most sitcoms are filmed very differently from movies or even dramatic television shows, so there would need to be whole rhythm change when stepping onto set and working with a studio audience, whether it's the first time, or just the first time in many years.
Unlike Bob Newhart (who'd starred in many seasons of his own sitcoms in the '70s and '80s), guest stars like Katee Sackhoff, LeVar Burton, Carrie Fisher, and James Earl Jones all either had very few or no stints on a sitcom before their brief time on The Big Bang Theory, so I can certainly see where, even though they were all great on the show, it probably took some getting used to.
Cuoco is right that much of her work has been done in sitcoms, even before her 12 seasons on BBT. She, of course, first became well-known as a member of the 8 Simple Rules cast for three seasons, and had, up until then, also made several guest appearances on sitcoms. Aside from a one-season role on Charmed, much of her live-action TV work has been in sitcoms, and you can't deny that, even if Cuoco hadn't been an expert at the art of filming them by the time she began The Big Bang Theory, she certainly would have been well before the series ended.
The actress was still very young when she started on the eventual hit comedy, so she truly did grow up while working on BBT. She had the added benefit of being able to do the show with her original cast mates for the entire run, allowing her to fully get into the particular musical nature of the dialogue between the characters. And, they were all able to do that for an amazing number of years together, likely helping to really set the whole process in stone for her.
Luckily, everyone who guest starred on The Big Bang Theory hit their stride quickly enough, and fans ended up with some of the best episodes of the sitcom because of it.
Kaley Cuoco will be seen in The Flight Attendant Season 2 on HBO Max (where you can also stream The Big Bang Theory) at some point in spring 2022. For more to watch in the meantime, check out our guide to 2021 summer TV premieres!