How The Big Bang Theory's Simon Helberg Is Bringing Howard Back On Young Sheldon

Young Sheldon has given fans a lot of awesome connections to The Big Bang Theory in its five seasons so far, but I think we can all agree the best ones involve the former cast members themselves. So it's an awesome not-quite-surprise to learn that the CBS hit will soon bring Howard Wolowitz back to TV audiences, with former Big Bang star Simon Helberg reprising the role following a celebrated performance in this year's musical romance Annette.

That said, viewers probably shouldn't expect to see Howard's signature in full motion when Young Sheldon brings Simon Helberg into the fold. As it goes with the series' main narrator, Jim Parsons, Helberg's return as Howard will be in voiceover form. Check out a first look-and-listen below!

Wisely, Young Sheldon isn't just bringing Simon Helberg back for a casual cameo, but rather something far more important to the titular character, as portrayed by Iain Armitage. Howard will be telling the story of how Sheldon Cooper first became invested in the world of engineering, and understandably, it won't be a simple and straightforward experience. The episode will feature the debut of  The Wire vet  Lance Reddick as Sheldon's engineering educator Professor Boucher. 

Here's how showrunner and co-creator Steve Molaro put it in his statement:

We love being able to explore the origins of Sheldon Cooper every week on Young Sheldon. But it’s always extra fun when we’re able to incorporate Big Bang Theory Easter eggs into the storylines. Getting to work with Simon again to help explain Sheldon’s long hatred of engineering was a dream come true. Jim and Simon – even in voiceover on Zoom – didn’t miss a beat in their banter as Sheldon Cooper and Howard Wolowitz. Plus, this episode sees the return of Reba McEntire and introduces Lance Reddick as Sheldon’s first engineering professor ­– it's absolutely one of our best episodes.

Lance Reddick, AND Reba McEntire, AND Simon Helberg all in the same episode?  Probably not the most unpredictable thing to happen on TV in 2021, but wonderfully strange all the same. In a season that has dipped into darker waters than one would normally expect from a network sitcom prequel, Young Sheldon will hopefully keep things light and airy enough for Howard’s return. I love the idea of dueling voiceovers, similar to how things played out when Mayim Bialik reprised Amy earlier in the show’s run.

Check out the episode's synopsis below!

  • “An Introduction to Engineering and a Glob of Hair Gel” – Sheldon takes his first engineering class with Professor Boucher (Lance Reddick). Also, Meemaw and Dale help take care of his ex-wife, June (Reba McEntire), on the CBS Original series Young Sheldon, Thursday, Nov. 18 (8:00-8:31 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.

So set your biological clocks for Thursday, November 18 — that's probably not how those work — for this fun Big Bang Theory audio reunion...of sorts. Young Sheldon airs every Thursday on CBS at 8:00 p.m. ET. 

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.