Young Sheldon's Iain Armitage Reacting To Surprise Video From Survivor's Jeff Probst Is Like Sheldon Cooper Meeting Leonard Nimoy

Iain Armitage as Sheldon Cooper in CBS' Young Sheldon
(Image credit: CBS)

Actor Iain Armitage has been bringing Sheldon Cooper to life on the small screen for six seasons of Young Sheldon, and has long outlasted the days of Jim Parsons portraying the character on screen in The Big Bang Theory. (Parsons does narrate the spinoff.) Despite a lot of TV experience, by the age of 14, a recent social media post proves that he's still perfectly capable of being starstruck, and it's all thanks to Survivor host Jeff Probst surprising him! Sheldon Cooper couldn't have been more excited to meet Leonard Nimoy. 

Iain Armitage was handed a phone on what appeared to be the Young Sheldon set, clearly with no idea that he was about to get a message from Jeff Probst himself, and his reaction is pretty marvelous to behold. Check out the video that the young actor posted on TikTok


♬ original sound - Iain Armitage

Iain Armitage may be a great actor, but I think it's safe to say that he was not putting on an act as soon as he saw Jeff Probst on the phone screen and let out an almighty gasp! Even his "Aunt Beth" go a shoutout for getting Armitage into Survivor. My favorite part might be the actor shaking his head "no" when Probst asked if he'd be snuffing out his torch if he ever appeared on Survivor, followed by Probst saying "I know you're saying no right now." 

After that, Armitage looked about ready to sign on to Survivor Season 54 right then and there! Young Sheldon would presumably be over by then; Season 44 just debuted in the 2023 TV premiere schedule on March 1, and a show called Young Sheldon can't let the main character get too close to Sheldon circa The Big Bang Theory, right? 

Hey, if CBS can air Celebrity Big Brother, why not Celebrity Survivor in 2034? Something tells me that Armitage wouldn't be as quick to volunteer for Fox's Special Forces: World's Toughest Test after what the recent finale put its remaining celebrities through!

In all seriousness, seeing Iain Armitage's glee at getting a message from Jeff Probst put a smile on my face, and I'm guessing that I'm not the only one. It may be for the best that the Survivor host's message was prerecorded rather than a FaceTime or Zoom call, because the actor looked pretty overwhelmed! It would be fun to see if something on Young Sheldon got Sheldon so excited that Armitage had to recreate this reaction with the TV cameras rolling. 

It's a safe bet that Jim Parsons' Sheldon Cooper would have been overwhelmed if he'd met Leonard Nimoy during The Big Bang Theory, considering his reaction when Penny gave him the Star Trek icon's autograph! Nimoy did make a voice cameo on the show, with Sheldon conversing with his Spock action figure back in Season 5, a few years before Nimoy's death in 2015. 

The Big Bang Theory (which you can revisit streaming with an HBO Max subscription) also paid tribute to Nimoy on two occasions: with a vanity card shortly after his passing, and then months later with son Adam Nimoy making an appearance. See Iain Armitage as Sheldon Cooper with episodes of Young Sheldon on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS, and Jeff Probst hosting Survivor on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET. 

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).