As the ratings monster The Big Bang Theory sails through what could likely be one of its final years on the air – at least not counting syndication – the writers are really pulling out all the stops through majorly changing these characters’ lives and addressing some of the show’s hidden history. Both will continue to be at play in the future, and showrunner/executive producer Steve Molaro hints that Howard’s mentioned-but-never-seen father may finally make his way to the show.
[Howard’s dad] is certainly floating out there somewhere, and this baby is certainly a reason why we might finally get to see him.
The eventual arrival of a new character in the form of a baby is certainly an organic way to draw out the arrival of a semi-established character in the form of a neglectful father. Howard and Bernadette are going to have a baby, which will definitely bring about a new way of life for the couple, combined with an influx of new and uncomfortable emotions. For drama’s sake, this is the perfect time for Sam Wolowitz to get dropped into the story. Expect some references to sad stories in comic books and fantasy series.
As far as the show’s canon goes, Howard’s father skipped out on his first family when Howard was 11. (But he didn’t go to Melmac, despite what Howard pretended.) Sam has been mentioned multiple times since first being referenced in Season 3, and was at the heart of an episode centered on a letter Sam sent to Howard on the latter’s 18th birthday. It isn’t likely that Howard will be amazed and appreciative if his dad steps back out of the shadows, so tempers will likely flare. But we’ll probably get to see Matt Bennett return as half-brother Josh Wolowitz if and when it happens.
And that’s not the only oft-mentioned character that could get seen in the flesh in Big Bang Theory’s future. Here’s what else Molaro said, according to TV Line.
I will tell you that we’ve been starting to think about other people we haven’t met, like Leonard’s dad and who that might be. We’re thinking about [exploring that before the end of Season 9].
Leonard’s father, Dr. Hofstadter, doesn’t have as much emotional weight attached as Sam Wolowitz, and not a lot of background info has come when he’s referenced. But there’s definitely room for a story to grow there.
Earlier this season, viewers at last got to meet Sheldon’s beloved Meemaw, as portrayed by the wonderful June Squibb, and she affected the story. So hopefully Howard’s father makes a similarly lasting impression if he shows up. Can I put in a request for Ted Levine to be cast as Sam Wolowitz? Or John Lithgow maybe. I'll come up with some more choices in the meantime.
The Big Bang Theory airs Thursday nights on CBS.