Happy birthday Big Bang Theory – Bazinga! It’s in fact Jim Parsons, aka Sheldon Cooper, who recently celebrated his birthday on March 24th. The 41-year-old may not have an IQ of 187 like he does on the show, but he’s pulled off the role brilliantly. Sheldon has often been named Big Bang Theory’s “breakout character” and it’s true that the show wouldn’t be the same without him.
It’s been seven years now that the sitcom has been running, and Jim Parsons’ portrayal of Sheldon has received widespread acclaim. Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly wrote that “Parsons is doing something rare on network TV: making intellectualism admirable, even heroic.” It’s a role that has gotten Jim the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (twice), the TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in Television Series, and the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series.
There’s even an asteroid named after the character: asteroid 246247, dubbed “Sheldoncooper”.
And, hey, why not? Jim Parsons’ character in the show has been a highlight for television. It’s a humor so dry that it entertains everyone from celebrity gushers to science lovers. With quotes like “I’m Dr. Sheldon Cooper, BS, MS, MA, PhD and ScD. OMG, right?” or “I’m not insane, my mother had me tested!” how could we resist giving his namesake to random things? So far there’s a species (Euglossa Bazinga Bee) named from Sheldon’s catchphrase and a monkey at Columbus Zoo named after his name.
Earlier this month on Saturday Night Live Jim Parsons did a skit singing “I’m not that guy” and assuring TV watchers everywhere that, “I am not like Sheldon. I am not a scientist. I don’t speak Klingon. I do have a male roommate, but I assure that’s a vastly different arrangement.” I wonder how many comic do-dads he gets in his fan mail? Here’s to hoping he got some more last Sunday.
While he may claim that he’s not Sheldon, he is suited for the role. The character of Sheldon was originally going to be done by Johnny Galecki, who turned it down because he thought he was better suited to play Leonard. Lorre, the series’ creator, said that when Jim Parsons auditioned for the role, he was “so startlingly good” that he was asked to re-audition “to make sure he hadn’t gotten lucky.” And he’s been entertaining us weekly ever since.
Happy Birthday, Jim Parsons!