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The Big Bang Theory's Simon Helberg Hilariously Recalls People Telling Him How Much They Hated The CBS Sitcom

For as widely popular as The Big Bang Theory was during its twelve-season run on CBS — and still is via its exclusive streaming home on HBO Max — the sitcom definitely wasn’t without its vocal detractors. Such is the curse of being the most-watched comedy on TV for years on end, I suppose. But in TBBT’s case, it wasn’t just an issue of people venting on Twitter over the show’s superhero gags and guest stars from the worlds of Star Wars and Star Trek. Rather, this anti-fanbase has apparently felt overtly comfortable with telling cast members like Simon Helberg and Mayim Bialik in person just how much they hate the show. And Helberg amusingly thinks such bluntly disrespectful behavior is a sign the person is a secret fanatic. 

During Simon Helberg’s guest appearance on Mayim Bialik’s podcast Bialik Breakdown, the former Big Bang Theory co-stars talked about a plethora of different topics, from their respective careers to his role in her directorial debut As They Made Us and more. Naturally, their prior sitcom home took over a large chunk of the conversation, and after they touched upon the topic of Big Bang’s comedic broadness, as well as the notion that people would email them asking for money, Helberg revealed just how often people would come up specifically to bitch about the series, saying:

Famously, the introduction that people tend to make to me, particularly when the show was on, they would come up and they would say, ‘Listen, I hate your show, but…’ That’s the way they would start talking to me. Like, I mean everyday. ‘I fucking can’t stand your show, but my…’ and then it would be fill in the blank. My uncle, my brother, my bus driver from high school, my rabbi, my dentist, my whatever. And I was sort of like, ‘You are all of these people, aren’t you? There is no other. This is not about your ophthalmologist. You like the show!’ No, maybe you don’t, but they’d come up, and I started getting very angry.

 It’s a weird thing to even consider, since I can’t imagine someone would go up to a banker and start a conversation by saying they hate the bank. In the same vein, I’m sure plenty of musicians have to deal with those kinds of awkward encounters. “I don’t like your music, hunky country music singer, but my wife is a huge fan.”

Perhaps there’s some part of the haters’ minds that thinks they’re providing something valuable by sharing the fact that someone they know likes The Big Bang Theory, but prefacing those good vibes with hatred is hardcore anti-intuitive. And that’s just talking about the people who don’t take the conversation into more uncomfortable waters, as Simon Helberg described here:

So a guy came up to me, and he goes, ‘I hate your show. I can’t stand it, but my roommate loves it, so it’s on in the background. Anyway, I read about your negotiations. You wanna buy me a cup of coffee?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah. You know, you had me at I hate your show. Would you like a bagel to go with that, too?’ And this still actually happens, and it’s interesting.

The negotiations Simon Helberg spoke of were the contractual agreements that the Big Bang Theory cast members semi-regularly went through during the show’s later years, when they became one of the highest-paid casts on TV. Even beyond their per-episode pay, some of the stars have also earned big from contractual stipulations regarding syndication status and other details. So as far as celebrities to ask for money, Helberg & Co. make sense from a logical standpoint, even if it doesn’t necessarily make sense to ask any celebrities for money, least of all after slamming their work.

While it’s possible The Big Bang Theory could spark some kind of a cast reunion in the future, similar to the Friends reunion special on HBO Max, it’s highly unlikely the show will ever be revived in scripted form. The cast members are all pretty happy with their post-TBBT lives, with Mayim Bialik buoying her podcast efforts with Fox’s Call Me Kat and her shared Jeopardy! hosting duties.

Nick Venable
Nick Venable

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.