unraveling the mystery

We rehearsed some more this morning, and then did our run through for the producers and the network this afternoon. 

Before I share what little I can about the actual work, let's get the important stuff out of the way: I trained hard to improve my ping pong game with Nolan last night (Nolan plays ping pong competitively, and is one of those freakishly good players who you'd swear are using telekinesis on the ball) and played a singles and two doubles matches today. I won my singles match by 3 points … but lost both doubles matches by 5 and 7 points, entirely because I stink at ping pong. Thus it is official: I have been ping pwned.

Okay, to the work, then:

I can't get into any real specifics, because we've reached that point in the production where any new insights or revelations that have happened (and they have) are all related to things that would certainly qualify as spoilers, or are observations that I feel would be unprofessional to share without the explicit permission of my fellow actors.

However, during rehearsal, I got to watch them take something that was already very funny, and then try several different approaches to one particular bit, each one funnier than the last, until they settled on something that I know is going to kill when the audience sees it. You know you're working on a tremendously funny show when the stuff they throw away is funnier than the stuff that makes it on air on other shows. I also have a new appreciation for how perfectly the writers on The Big Bang Theory balance the extremely geeky jokes that guys like me go crazy for, with the non-geeky jokes that people like my wife enjoy. It's a lot harder than it sounds to gently push a time machine through the eye of the comedy needle every week without touching the sides and making that one dude's nose light up … which sounds kind of funny, but trust me, is not.

The run through (for the producers and the network) was great, and I got a fantastic note from Chuck Lorre during one of my scenes that gave me +10 to funny. While I was delighted to get the note, and Chuck was obviously delighted to give it (he's a wonderful man, and is obviously having the time of his life making television people love), I have to admit that I was disappointed in myself, like I'd failed to do my job by not figuring out the particular acting choice he suggested on my own. Once I heard it, I could see that it was obviously there in the writing, and I just missed it. I plan to redeem myself on Monday by applying that note and one other, so I can perform my scenes without making that one dude's nose light up.

31 thoughts on “unraveling the mystery”

  1. never watched the show before, but you darn well better believe I’m gonna now. SO SO stoked for you getting all these awesome gigs lately, Wil – I know how fickle the industry is, and I’m kvelling like I was your very own Jewish mother.
    Good on ya!

  2. It’s awesome to read about your new gig, even if you can’t give us any specifics. BBT is one of my favorite shows, and I’m really looking forward to seeing you there. It’s really fun for me that a lot of your latest gigs have been shows I follow (Criminal Minds, the Guild and now BBT). Only thing left now is for one of my family visits in the States to coincide with one of your con appearances so I can see you live on stage instead of youtube 😉
    Good luck on your ping pong on monday 😉

  3. I’m glad it’s going so well and I’m looking forward to seeing it in the UK. By the time it’s on I should be finished catching up with Seasons 1 and 2. I’ve only seen the occasional episode because it was on at an awkward time but I’m now renting the DVDs. Very good so far.

  4. Just watched the episode where Sheldon and Leonard are bringing this huge box up for Penny and Sheld and Leon being the “tough guys” they are try and handle it and everything goes wrong. I love the part where Leon is saying they are “almost there”(top of the stairs), then Sheld says “no we’re not, No we’re not, no we’re not” and then the box runs over Sheld….bout passed out with laughter!LOL! Truly one of the best new shows in a long toime.

  5. I only started watching Big Bang Theory a few days ago, on a reccomendation from my father of all people (Him: do you watch Big Bang Theory, Me: no…why?, Him: Oh, I thought it’d be right up your alley. Basically, he was calling me a nerd.) It is easily the funniest sitcom I’ve ever watched. Every episode is serious Laugh Out Loud funny. I can’t wait to see the new season, and I’m very stoked to see your performance!
    Break a leg as they say!

  6. I’ve seen a few episodes of the Big Bang theory over here in the UK, but I haven’t been able to catch as regularly as I’d like. Do you know when your episodes are likely to make it over here?

  7. I have no idea what their international broadcast schedule is. My episode is the 6th of the 3rd season, though, so maybe you can find out where they are in the UK schedule right now, and estimate it that way?

  8. Being the total “The Big Bang Theory” geek that I am, I am wondering if you played doubles against Kaley and Kunal. I know that they are both great players.
    It’s great that you are going to be on the show and I love it that you have posted about it on Twitter with cool picture and have written blogs as well.
    Just so those guys who create that awesome show know, it would be great if you told them that there are some of us watching who are beyond that 18-49 demographic. I have quite a few friends who are over that who watch. Of course, we are all science fiction geeks.
    I’m looking forward to seeing you on TBBT.

  9. I cannot believe I had the opportunity to attend your taping next Tuesday and I missed my window!
    I’m going to start slapping me… and I my never stop. Let the healing begin.

  10. I’ve been a huge Big Bang Theory fan since the first season, so I’m looking forward to seeing what you’re up to here.
    It would be really interesting if you did little write-ups on the spoiler-y things you can’t talk about and posted them after the episodes air.

  11. You’re my hero, Wil. I’m a Big Banger (is that a term?), so I’m very jealous that you get to be on the show. It sounds like it’s as much fun to work on as it is to watch.

  12. *claps hands together excitedly* I cannot wait for your episode of The Big Bang Theory. It’s been my go-to show for geeks and it’s only fitting that the King of Geeks make an appearance (or several, have you begged to be a regular yet?). The cast is made of fabulous actors and I’m sure in real life they’re fantastic people. You are so lucky!
    Also, you now need to be on How I Met Your Mother and Castle in order to finish your collection of Dr. Horrible cast members. Get on that. *grins*

  13. I am really psyched that you are going to be on BBT. This is the best sitcom on right now (and it is the only show I have ever spent money on – I bought the season 1 and season 2 DVDs). Ever since I first started watching the show at the end of season one, I have thought that this would be the perfect show for you and I hope you become a regular guest star.
    I enjoy BBT because it reminds me of people I knew in college. My education is in life sciences (veterinary medicine, biochemistry, biology, etc.) and I can easily substitute some of my grad student friends for the characters on BBT. Turns out that entomologists can be as funny (and annoying) as physicists ( While at a bar talking about our pets, I said something about fleas and other parasitic bugs: Friend – “Of course you know, Dave, that fleas are not bugs. ‘Bugs’ are in the order Hemiptera, fleas are in the order Siphonaptera.” Me – “Shut up. ‘Nother beer over here, bartender!”)

  14. I love watching the Big Bang Theory. You are right in that it does manage to cater to both geeks and non-geeks alike. I think I fall into both categories. No one thinks I’m a geek and then when they get to know me, they can’t believe I’m so geeky. I’d say I was a chameleon.
    Anyway this is my first visit to your site. I’ve seen many things you’ve acted in but it was your Cthulhu image that brought me here, and I must say I was laughing hysterically for ages. I sent it to my friend, who just buried a family member yesterday. He was almost crying with laughter and said it was the best thing to happen all day. So thanks for helping my friend out! I’ll be visiting your blog more regularly!

  15. Wil, this is totally in the wrong thread but I didn’t know if you’d be reading comments on the The Guild post below.
    Did you notice the actress in the in wheel chair was totally rolling her eyes in disgust while the rest of you scattered from the giant beetle? I don’t know why but her reaction just cracks me up…

  16. I love The Big Bang Theory. I love that you are going to be on a show that I love. Ergo, I love being a geek in the modern era.
    The Christmas episode from Season 2 is one of THE most hilarious things I have seen on American television airwaves in years. Many a LOL was laid down in the course of viewing that episode. Jim Parsons deserved an Emmy solely for the scene where Penny gives Sheldon a DNA-soaked napkin signed by His Holy Spockness Himself, Leonard Nimoy. It was brilliantly played as both poignant and piss-in-your-pants funny.
    With the threat of straining the sentiment to it’s sycophantic stress-limit, I, too, congratulate you for landing a role on one of the best sitcoms to come along in a long while, and can’t wait to see the finished product.

  17. Just popping in to show my appreciation for your fine work.
    Am listening through your older podcasts as well as the recent and im surprised at the fond memories you have pulled from the history of my life.
    For that i thank you very much
    Keep it up

  18. wil, you’re just so adorable. i cannot wait to see this episode, i love the big bang theory so much, and it’s a treat that they’re going to have you on!

  19. Wil,
    I do hate to bother you again via this method, but I think my e-mails to you are being filtered. My name is Anthony Haslage, director of Web Services for the International Federation of Trekkers. I am trying to get ahold of you to discuss having you as a guest for an online charity event. Please contact me via webteam[at]iftcommand.com so we may discuss it.
    P.S. If anyone with a clear line of communications to Wil could get Wil to contact me, I would apreeciate it.
    Thank you.
    P.S.S. The Big Bang Theory is one of my favorite shows.

  20. Wil, I’ve not been reading much of any blogs lately, that I used to before the move to Europe. But I happened to see someone somewhere make mention to you writing about being on BBT, and you have no idea how much I squealed in delight!!! That is by far one of my most favorite.shows.EVAR! and it thrills me to no end that you are appearing on it. Seriously, I am just …ack omgyay!!! LOL. So so happy, and ecstatic for you, too, that has to be beyond awesome, not only is it a great gig to get, but as you said, being a geek yourself, and getting to be on it… yeah, super awesome! =)

  21. Will,
    Hi. Boy this is always awkward. Long time reader, first time poster. Eesh. I always hate this part.
    Now that this discomfort is out of the way, I simply wanted to say that I went to a Big Bang taping last night, and they played the edited, semi-finished version of your episode before the actual filming. I know better than to spoil anything, so I’ll simply say I thought you were brilliant, much like the episode itself. Bravo, sir.

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