'Big Bang Theory' cast get ready for final farewell with handprint ceremony
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'Big Bang Theory' cast get ready for final farewell with handprint ceremony

As their beloved comedy nears its end, the cast of the "Big Bang Theory" has left its mark on Hollywood history -- literally, as the seven actors immortalized their handprints in cement at the famous TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles Wednesday.

Big bang Frederic J. BROWN / AFP
Frederic J. BROWN / AFP

Following the daily lives a group of geeky-but-loveable California scientists and their girlfriends, "Big Bang," which premiered in 2007, has for years been the most-watched comedy on US television.

The TV show's entire main ensemble participated in the cement ceremony, including Johnny Galecki (who plays exasperated straight-man Leonard), Jim Parsons (the sometimes-infuriating genius Sheldon Cooper), Kaley Cuoco (the guys' across-the-hall neighbor Penny) and Simon Helberg (astronaut and mama's boy).

Kunal Nayyar (Raj Koothrappali, who is cripplingly shy talking to women), Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler, a neurobiologist whose relationship with Sheldon is dictated by a contractual agreement) and Melissa Rauch (the small-but-mighty Bernadette) also took part in the ceremony.

Galecki said taking part in the quintessential Hollywood event was an "epic honor." 

"It's been an incredible ride,'' he said. "Thank you all. Thank you to the fans. There is a little part of all of you in these handprints."

The Emmy-winning CBS show's 12th season is set to finish with its 279th episode, a one-hour finale, on May 16.

Parsons said the episode was filmed on Tuesday, the night before their handprint ceremony. 

"We did tape our last episode last night," he said, "and yet I can live under the delusion that we're still working together, so this is a real blessing."

"And I want to thank the other six cast members who are with me here today, this experience would not have happened at all with any other combination," he said.

Parsons's Sheldon is the emotional heart of the show, despite his often-clueless social interactions and tendency to focus on his physics research over his  friends (and his "Bazinga" catchphrase, which drives the gang crazy). The character was so popular that CBS launched the spinoff show "Young Sheldon" in 2017. 

Winner of 10 Emmy Awards, "Big Bang" attracted more than 20 million viewers per episode for parts of its ninth season.

"It reaches so many different people, because it is simply hilarious and these characters are just so lovable," said Cuoco. "It's completely worldwide."

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