'The Big Bang Theory' Recap: Bob Newhart Funny as Ever
"The Big Bang Theory" might be the highest-rated comedy on TV, but the sitcom -- now in its sixth season -- isn't resting on its geek-chic laurels. Case in point: Bob Newhart! (He even managed to squeeze in a dream reference to his hit '70s/'80s shows.) The 83-year-old comedy legend guest starred in Thursday night's episode, "The Proton Resurgence," as Professor Proton (think Mr. Wizard), and man, did he make science cool for a young Sheldon (Jim Parsons). Maybe a little too cool, because now Sheldon's totally creeping out the former kids' TV show host. The megagenius is not exactly known for his adherence to social norms, after all.
When Sheldon finds out that his childhood idol is available for kids' parties and events, he wastes no time writing a fat check and hiring Professor Proton. But it's not for a kids' party, it's just so that Professor Proton can come over, hang out, put on a private show, and -- if Sheldon gets his greatest wish -- "take 12 pictures with us so we can make a calendar."
When Professor Proton arrives, he needs assistance up the steps to the gang's floor (the broken elevator strikes again!), and he doesn't seem particularly thrilled by Sheldon's epic fandom. "Is he dangerous?," Professor Proton -- whose real name is Arthur Jefferies -- asks after Sheldon swoons out loud, "I can get as close to you as I want without my mom saying it's going to ruin my eyes."
The gang leads Jefferies up the steps to their place (Penny's charms help to entice the downtrodden science teacher), but things get awkward again when Sheldon, Penny (Kaley Cuoco), and Leonard (Johnny Galecki) just sit and stare at Professor Proton over a cup of coffee. "Do you do a lot of appearances like this?" Penny asks. Jefferies is at a loss, because he's "not sure what 'this' is."