The cast of television’s number one comedy, “The Big Bang Theory” filmed their last show on April 30, 2019. The following morning they arrived together at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood to make history. Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Keley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch put their handprints and signed their names in wet cement.
While attending the ceremony I learned it’s the end to a successful run, with a record-breaking 279 episodes. The cast was emotional, exhausted, teary and appreciative of Executive Producer and co-creator Chuck Lorre. They thanked the writers, their cast mates and fans.
The TCL Chinese Theatre handprints ceremony is rich in tradition. In 1927 Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks were the first stars to put their prints in wet cement. This site is one of the most visited spots in Los Angeles. Over six million people visit the courtyard each year to place their own hands and feet in the hard prints of their favorite stars and celebrities.
Executive producer and co-creator of The Big Bang Theory Chuck Lorre was introduced by KOST 103.5 radio host Ellen K. She announced that the show earned 52 Emmy nominations, 10 wins to date, and 7 Golden Globe nominations. As Lorre took the stage he shared how 40 years ago he used to sneak into the nearby Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in a bathing suit and flip flops. He pretended he was a guest to use their pool.
While introducing his cast, each star walked up to the podium and shared a story. Mayim Bialik told the audience how she grew up within walking distance from the TCL Chinese Theatre. It was a place she came to as a child and she used put her hand and foot prints in the handprints of legends in the industry. She also used to go to sleep to the sounds of the circus that set up across the street from the Hollywood Bowl.
Melissa Rauch shared how she called her mother ready to give up, not too long before she was cast as Bernadette in The Big Bang Theory. She said she called her parents from the back of a sports bar, telling her mom “Why did you let me follow my dreams? You guys are absolutely out of your minds.” Today with her parents in attendance to watch their daughter place her hands in wet cement, she thanked them for being “out of their minds” and believing in her, when she didn’t believe in herself.
Kunal Nayyar thanked the five people in attendance with him today. First his parents who sacrificed everything for him to be here. Next his brother who he loves more than words could say. He gave a big thanks to Jason his agent, who took a chance on him 13 years ago while he was just a grad student. He said he represented a “hopeful and relentless young boy full of false bravado.” Last he lovingly thanked his wife "who stuck by me while my internal world was crumbling.” Kunal ended with “I wish all of our hands could be in that cement, but they can’t, so I will use his hands to keep our family name going higher and higher.”
Keley Cuoco thanked Chuck Lorre for changing her life. She told her fans that she has been with her team since she was 14 years old. Simon Helberg kept his sunglasses on throughout the ceremony due to emotions.
Jim Parsons thanked his mother, nephews, sister, brother-in-law and husband Todd who were all attending the ceremony “They have been for me the cement under this entire experience with this show. It’s a wild and crazy ride and without them it wouldn’t have been nearly as healthy as it has been for my sake.” Jim Parsons believes this ceremony to memorialize the show is an unbelievable experience.
The TLC Chinese Theatre was the first place star Johnny Galecki visited when he first came to Los Angeles at 11 years old. After thanking Chuck Lorre, the writers, the cast and his sister, with tears in his eye he quoted Winnie the Pooh, “How lucky I am to be so sad to say goodbye to something.”
Fans can watch the one-hour finale on CBS on May 16, 2019.