Big spoilers ahead!
The first Big Bang Theory baby is here! Bernadette and Howard Wolowitz welcomed baby girl Halley (after the comet) in tonight’s epic winter finale. While the newest cast member is certainly big news, the funniest storyline belonged to Sheldon and Amy’s attempt to have coitus, which kept getting interrupted by everyone and everything. But what was it like behind the scenes? We went straight to Big Bang executive producer Steve Molaro—as well as Mayim Bialik—to get the lowdown on everything that happened. Here are the answers to every question you didn’t know you had:
The Story Behind the Harry Potter Costumes
The decision for Amy to wear a Hufflepuff costume came after hours of deliberation in the writers’ room, Molaro says. “There was a hotly debated discussion over what house—Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw—Amy would be in,” he told Glamour. “I understand the sensitivity of this issue. My personal opinion and ruling on this [is] I think she’s a Hufflepuff/Ravenclaw, and you could make arguments for both.” So how did they come to decide she’d be a Hufflepuff? “One of the biggest virtues of Hufflepuff is patience,” Molaro explains. “This is the episode where it is her birthday and she has been waiting all year for her birthday coitus. So, I felt if that didn’t exemplify patience, what else would? I believe she is a cusp, but we went with Hufflepuff. Also, it’s the funnier sounding name. That’s my ruling!”
What Mayim Bialik Really Thought About the Costume
“Actually, we went through a couple different costumes,” Bialik reveals. “We wanted something that was respectful of the Harry Potter world, while still being appropriate for Amy and Sheldon’s relationship. I’m wearing Amy’s sexy version of her nightie—short sleeves and cut to the knee—which for her is very, very racy. To do that with a robe was really cute. Sheldon’s reaction is my favorite. He’s so shocked and excited, and that’s really sweet. It’s like hitting the nail on the head of what your boyfriend thinks is cool because you think it’s cool too.”
Baby Wolowitz Is a Girl!
“I had been leaning toward [the baby] being a girl and that she would sound like Mrs. Wolowitz as a tribute to that character and to Carol Ann Susi,” Molaro says of Howard and Bernadette’s child. “It just seemed so sweet, and what an awesome tribute and a way to keep the flavor of Carol Ann alive in our show. It just seemed to all make sense to us.”
A Sound Only a Mother Could Love
Melissa Rauch does an uncanny impersonation of Mrs. Wolowitz, but contrary to what you might think, that’s not Rauch doing the Wolowitz baby cry. “That’s Pamela Adlon (of FX’s Better Things), who we are thrilled to have do this,” Molaro reveals. “Pamela and Carol Ann Susi were long time dear friends, and Pam has told me she’s honored to have the chance to help keep the memory of Carol Ann alive in the show.” Oh, and there’s more: Pamela will be voicing more of little Halley. “As far as the voiceovers for the baby go, Pam is our gal,” Molaro confirms.
R.I.P. The Birth Scene
In case you’re wondering why we didn’t see Bernadette actually give birth or see mom and dad interact with their baby immediately, Molaro has a good reason. “That is an area that has been covered so well and so many times on TV shows that I just thought, let’s not have her screaming and pushing the baby out,” he says. “I was interested in jumping over that; I was more interested in what the gang was talking about in the waiting room while that was happening. Sort of by design we didn’t show Bernadette pushing and screaming. I thought we had an opportunity to skip over that and leave that to the shows that have done that so well already.”
When Molaro and his wife were pregnant with their son, they told the doctor they didn’t want to know, but the doctor spoiled it anyway. So was Raj spilling the beans about baby Wolowitz being a girl a nod to that? “Yeah, probably,” Molaro laughs. “Except the doctor that revealed it to us did it completely intentionally [whereas Raj did not]. It was not an accident! We said we didn’t want to know [the gender], we want to keep it a surprise, and the doctor said, ‘OK, but you might want to buy blue!’ So yeah, there’s certainly a flavor of that experience floating around in that story!”
The Harsh Truth
Ten seasons in, the characters have never been more brutally honest with each other. First, it was Amy saying she didn’t like Penny’s haircut. Then, in the winter finale, Raj went off on Stuart. So, what’s the deal? “When we were writing [that Amy/Penny exchange], I did say, ‘Hey, Kaley, is it cool if we talk about the hair?’” Molaro laughs. “She was so great. She was like, ‘It’s adorable that you’re even asking me, and of course! Go write it; that’s hilarious!’ It was all super fun and cool. We had fun with that. If you’re writing stuff you’re a little nervous about writing, it usually is a good sign that it’s at least interesting.” And what about Raj and Stuart? “There’s a fun, weird dynamic between those two lately where they are sort of vying to be the third wheel in this…which I guess is now the fourth wheel with the baby. They’re sort of playfully going at each other. In that episode, Raj took the first swing when Stuart said, ‘If it makes you feel better, I’m no better off than I was 10 years ago.’ Koothrappali was like, ‘Oh, great! So I’m in the same boat as the pasty-faced owner of the comic book store!’ So, that’s the first swing. As the episode goes on, Stuart just wails on him… I kind of looked at it as Koothrappali crossed the line, and it’s Stuart that just body slams him a few times. And then when you came around and Koothrappali was the godfather, I thought at least in the moment it was justified, though admittedly kind of mean.”
Halley Wolowitz vs. Sheldon Cooper
For those of you (ahem, me) who want to see Sheldon babysit Halley, you might get your wish one day, but not quite yet. “That’s not where we pick up [in January],” Molaro says. “But somewhere, someday, Sheldon and that baby will interact.”
On the Other Hand
Mayim Bialik revealed to us that having a baby join the cast left her a tad uneasy: “I’m going to be super honest: I was a little bit nervous because you know what people think when you add a baby to an episode, but the plot line surrounding the baby [in an upcoming episode] is so funny and so interesting. It’s not about the baby per se, but it’s a plot you could only do with a baby, and it is so hysterical. It’s some of Simon [Helberg’s] funniest physical stuff, and I was so grateful to see that they’re being so creative right off the bat with how to deal with this baby.”
What Happens Next
“Where we pick up I think is super fun,” Molaro says. “It airs the first week of January, and the entire gang and Stuart—all eight of them—are back together for dinner in the apartment, where they belong, recapping to each other the stories of their horrible holidays. We see it all play out in flashbacks. Bernadette and Wolowitz talk about that first week home with the baby. Sheldon and Amy went to Texas to finally let his mom know that they’re living together in sin. Penny and Leonard were hanging out at home and having a great Christmas until they decided it was a good idea to chop down their own tree. It’s structurally something we don’t do very often, but I think it turned out really fun.”
The Big Bang Theory returns with new episodes starting Thursday, January 5. For more with Mayim Bialik and her exclusive interview with Glamour, click here.