The Big Bang Theory (2007–…): Season 4, Episode 14 - The Thespian Catalyst - full transcript

To improve his skills as an instructor, Sheldon asks Penny to give him acting lessons. Meanwhile, Raj begins having impure fantasies about Bernadette.

Good evening.

I'm your guest lecturer,
Dr. Sheldon Cooper.

I was expecting applause,

but I suppose stunned silence
is equally appropriate.

I agreed to speak
to you this evening,

because I was told that you're
the best and the brightest

of this university's
doctoral candidates.

Hmm. Of course,
that's like saying

you are the most important
electron in a hydrogen atom.

'Cause, you see,

there's only one electron
in a hydrogen atom.

Best and brightest,
my sweet patootie.

All right, let's begin.

Show of hands,
who here is familiar

with the concept
of topological insulators?

Don't kid yourselves.

I found another tweet from a
student at Sheldon's lecture.

"Dr. Cooper has taken
a relatively boring subject

"and managed to make it
completely insufferable.

Plus, he looks
like a giant insect."

Look. Listen to this one.

"Does Einstein's theory
explain why time flies

"when you're having fun,

"but when you're listening
to Dr. Cooper,

it falls out of the sky, dead?"

Ooh, somebody took pictures

and uploaded them
to their Flickr account.


How do you get an
entire lecture hall

to flip you off
at the same time?

Apparently, if you're Sheldon,

all you need
to do is turn your back.

Hey, Leonard,
is your wi-fi down?

I can't get on.

Oh, Sheldon changed
the password.

It's now
"Penny is a freeloader."

No spaces.

What are you guys doing?

Sheldon gave a lecture
at the university tonight.

We're reading
the reviews.

Oh. How'd he do?

Well, picture the Hindenburg
meets Chernobyl

meets Three Mile Island
meets Tron 2.

That bad, huh?

Read this woman's tweet.

"Listening to Dr. Cooper

has made me want to start
cutting myself again""


Good evening,
Leonard, Howard, Raj,


So, how'd the lecture go?

In a word, triumphant.

Really? Triumphant?

Oh, yes, you should have
seen those young people.

Thirsty for knowledge,
drinking in my wisdom.

I may have changed
a few lives today.

Oh, please let
me tell him.

I don't know,
I kind of promised Howard.

Tell me what?

Actually, we should
all share the moment.

Raj, if you would.

Oh, tweets about my lecture.


That's rather unfair.

That's downright cruel.

Plus, insects
have six legs.

Yeah, I'm not familiar
with the acronym "KMN""

From the context, we think
it means "kill me now."

Well, I suppose everyone's
entitled to their own opinion.

I think I'll turn in.

I didn't want to teach
those poopy heads, anyway.

FYI, I think that's
what Darth Vader said

just before he started
building the Death Star.

♪ Our whole universe
was in a hot, dense state ♪

♪ Then nearly 14 billion years
ago expansion started... Wait! ♪

♪ The Earth began to cool ♪

♪ The autotrophs began to drool,
Neanderthals developed tools ♪

♪ We built the Wall ♪
♪ We built the pyramids ♪

♪ Math, Science, History,
unraveling the mystery ♪

♪ That all started
with a big bang ♪

♪ Bang! ♪

♪ The Big Bang Theory 4x14 ♪
The Thespian Catalyst
Original Air Date on February 3, 2011

Sheldon still moping?

Yeah, it's weird.
Even though he didn't want

to give the lecture
in the first place,

being rejected by those students
really hit him hard.

I know the feeling.

It's like accidentally
walking into a gay bar

and then having
no one hit on you.

It-It happened
to a friend of mine.

Are you guys doing okay?

Leonard and I are fine,

but I think Raj needs
to meet a girl really soon.

Well, that shouldn't
be too hard.

He's such a cutie.

Thank you,
but "cute" is for bunnies.

I want to be something
with sex appeal,

like a labradoodle.


We might be starting
to zero in on your problem.

Don't you listen to them.

You've got plenty
of sex appeal.

You really think so?

Yeah. You're a hottie.

Well, thanks, Bernadette.

And just for the record,

labradoodles are

which is a very sexy quality to
those troubled by animal dander.

So, what do you think?

It's a charming illusion,
but it does not cheer me up.

Not even when I do this?


Well, that was the last arrow
in my quiver of whimsy.

Do you realize that teaching
is the first thing

I've failed at
since my ill-fated attempt

to complete a chin-up
in March of 1989?

If this humiliating experience

is really troubling you,

there are things
we could do about it.

For instance?

Well, the first thing
that comes to mind

is isolating the part
of your brain

where the memory is stored
and destroying it with a laser.

Hmm, no.

One slip of the hand,

and suddenly I'm sitting
in the Engineering Department,

building doodads with Wolowitz.

All right.

Have you considered improving
your socialization skills,

thus allowing you

to communicate more
effectively with other people?

Isn't that their burden?

I'm the one with something
interesting to say.

Fair enough, but in its essence,

teaching is a performance art.

In the classroom paradigm,

the teacher has the
responsibility to communicate,

as well as entertain and engage.

I sense that you're trying
to slow-walk me to an epiphany.

Would you mind very much
jumping to it?

Perhaps you should consider
taking acting lessons.

Acting lessons.


It might help
if I could act as though I care

about my students
and whether or not they learn.


Penny. Penny.


You're an "actress," correct?

I'm not an "actress."

I'm an actress.

All right.

You're an actress.

I need you to teach me.

You want an acting lesson?

Perhaps two. I'd like
to master the craft.

Okay, where
is this coming from?

It has been suggested to
me that acting techniques

could improve my
lecturing, at which,

if certain tweets and
blogs are to be believed,

I "suck the big one."

Yeah, I saw those.
They were funny.

I printed a few out
and put 'em on my fridge.

So, when could we start?

Okay, just to be clear.

You are asking me for help
because I know something

that the brilliant
Dr. Sheldon Cooper doesn't.

I suppose that's one
way to look at it.

I think it's the only
way to look at it.

Are you going to
help me or not?

Probably. I'm just
enjoying the foreplay.

Does this mean you are done
mocking my acting career?

Oh, I'm sorry, I thought
making the transition

from actor to acting teacher

was the signal
that one's career

had reached the
end of the road.

Forget it.

I'll pay you $40.

Saturday, 9:00 a.m.
Bring cash.

Raj, I have amazing news!


I just got offered
a fellowship

at the Weitzmann
Institute in Israel.

Dude, that's incredible!
I know.

The only thing is, I'm
gonna be gone for two years.

Aw, I'm gonna miss you.

Are you going with him?

I have to stay
here for school.

That's what we're here
to talk to you about.

You see,
Bernadette has needs.

What kind of needs?

Sexual needs.

Most of them regular,

some of them
kind of messed up.

So, while I'm gone,

you're going
to have to satisfy her.

What do you say?

I say okey-dokey.

What ya thinking
so hard about?

Just that
I'm definitely not gay.


Penny! Penny!

What's wrong?

I was acting.

You were acting.

Yes. In preparation
for today's studies,

I read Stanislavski's
An Actor Prepares,

Stella Adler's
The Technique of Acting,

Uta Hagen's
Respect for Acting,

and Henry Winkler's
Ayyy, I'm an Actor.

Well, good for you.

Come on in.

How shall we begin?

Well, I thought we'd start

with some
basic movement exercises.

You know, get our bodies
warmed up a little.

All right.

So I just want you to relax

and kind of
move around in the space.

You know,
just do whatever feels natural.


You said to do whatever
feels natural.

This feels natural.

Certainly more natural

than what you're doing.

Come on,
you got to work with me.

We need to get connected
with our bodies.

Penny, my body and I have
a relationship

that works best
when we maintain a cool,

wary distance from each other.

All right,
let's just say we've warmed up.

You're the "teacher."

Okay. One of the things
that might help you

in connecting with your students

is being
a little more spontaneous.

So why don't we
try some improvisation?

Why not?
It seems like

you're improvising
your entire curriculum.

This is all about
listening and responding.


I'm going to create a character

and a situation, and you
just jump in when you feel it.

All right.
All right.


Okay, it's not a movie.

It's improv.
So no one calls "action."

Hey, you taught me something.

Who would have thought it?


Uh, no, the shipment
has not arrived,

and I really need those shoes.

They are my biggest seller.

Yes, ladies sizes six
through ten.

Thank you.
Oh, sorry.

I have to go.
I have a customer. Bye-bye.

Hi. Can I help you?

I'd like a frozen yogurt,



Okay, sure.

Luckily, we sell both shoes
and yogurt here.

You do?

Yes. Look up at the sign,

and remember, improv is always
about saying yes.

All right.


I see a sign.

It says "Camarillo State
Mental Hospital."


It's the only explanation
I can come up with

for why you think
you sell shoes and yogurt.

Okay, you know what?

Let's just try
a different improv. Uh..

Oh, this time
we will be two winos

living under a freeway overpass.

Oh, and we're going
to use props?

You bet.

I had dreams,
you know.

I was gonna be famous.

Show everybody back home
I could be someone.

Now look at me.

Want some?

You have any frozen yogurt?

I'm still not adjusted

to how the SyFy channel
spells their name now.

That's "siffy."



Oh, my God! Is he okay?

What happened?
Hang on. Hang on.


Okay, thank you.

Howard was on his scooter,
and got hit by a truck.

He's in critical condition.

Oh, no!

Did you hear?

Isn't it terrible?

Have you seen him?

They wouldn't let me in.

Oh, my Howie.

It'll be okay.
It'll be okay.

It'll be okay.

It'll be

It's Howard.

Howard, hello.

Raj, is that you?

Yeah, I'm right here,
buddy. How are you?

Shh, shh. Listen to me.

I'm not gonna make it.

No, no, no,
don't say that.

You're going to
be all right.

Raj, I don't have time.
Now, pay attention.

My last wish is that
you look after Bernadette.

Of course, of course.

Now when you say "look
after," you mean...


Excuse me, Bernadette.
I have to hear it from him.


Got it. Take care.

I guess I have no choice

but to make sweet,
guilt-free love to you

over and over again
for the rest of my life.

That's how I heard it.

Or it could be "sy-fee."


S-y-F-y. "Sy-fee."

Oh, right.

Good one.

So, did you get a chance
to go over the scene I gave you?

Yes. I didn't care for it.

Okay, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
is an American classic.

So is the McRib sandwich.

I don't care
for that, either.

Fine. What would you rather do
as a scene study?

I'm glad you asked.

I took the liberty

of adapting a Star Trek
fan fiction novella

I wrote when I was ten

into a one-act play.

And you think it's better
than Tennessee Williams?

Why don't we leave that for
future generations to decide?

Where No Sheldon
Has Gone Before.

It's the story of a young boy
who is transported

from the ignorant backwoods
of East Texas

to the 23rd Century,

where his genius is not only
appreciated, but celebrated.


Now, in this
pivotal scene,

Sheldon's mother, played by you,
argues with an emissary

of the United Federation
of Planets, Mr. Spock,

the role I will bring to life.

Okay, that's fine,
but let's try

and get you out
of your comfort zone.

Why would we want to do that?

It's called "the comfort zone"
for a reason.

Okay, the whole point of this is
to loosen you up a little,

so I'm thinking you'll play
the role of your mother,

and I will bring life
to Mr. Spock.

I'm sorry.

You'll be Spock?

It's only logical.

Very well.

I'll set the scene.

All right.

"East Texas.

"A warm summer night.

"A woman, Mary,

"stands on a porch.

In the distance, we hear a
lonesome train whistle..."

"The droning buzz of cicadas..""

"A coyote howls at the moon,

frightening sensitive young boys

"Out in the woods,

an owl screeches..."
Okay, okay.

We get it.
You set the scene.


Now just read
your mother's line.


"Shelly, how many times
have I told you

"not to leave your sciencey
stuff out on the porch?


"I'll never understand that boy.

"But then again,
I'm a religious nut,

and my mind is closed
to so many things."

"Spock to Enterprise.
Transport successful."

"Glory be to Heaven,

"some sort of creature
just manifested out of thin air.

"George, put down that Pepsi can
full of bourbon

that ain't foolin' no one,
and get your shotgun!"

"Greetings, Mary Cooper.

I am Spock."

I'm sorry.
I just don't buy it.

Just keep going!

"Oh, my, your sudden appearance
startles me."

"We have been monitoring
your son Sheldon

"from the 23rd Century, and

"we have determined
that he is now ready

"to join us.

"His unique genius
is our best hope

for bringing peace
to a vast and troubled galaxy."

"I understand.

"Oh, Shelly?

"A man's here
to take you away to the future!

Be sure to pack
clean underwear."

Okay, okay, let's try
that last line again,

and this time,
maybe try choking up

a little.

Well, you're losing your son.

Yes, but he's going
to a better place

where he won't get beat up...
so much.

All right, come on,
just try it my way.

Pretend you're sad
to see him go.

I'm gonna lead you in.

"His unique genius
is our best hope

for bringing peace
to a vast and troubled galaxy."

- That's your cue.
- I'm sorry. I just love that line.

Even the way you do it.

All right, come on, come on.

Put some real emotion into it.

Blah-blah, blah, blah...
"vast and troubled galaxy."


"Oh, Shelly?

A man's here
to take you away to the future""

"Be sure to pack clean

That's good. That's good.
That's good.

Mommy, why are you crying?

'Cause I'm gonna
miss you, Shelly-bean,

even though you creep
the bugeeses out of me.

Okay, I guess
we're improvising now.

I'm sorry.

It's not my fault.

I'm just incredibly smart,

and everyone around here is
dumber than a bag of rocks.

Oh, now, don't
you start crying.

You get in that spaceship.

Mommy's late for
Indian bingo.

Mrs. Cooper, hey, it's Penny.

Yeah, I think I broke your son.

Hey, hold on.

Talk to your mother.

Mommy, I love you.

Don't let Spock take
me to the future!

Okay, Raj,

I know you've been avoiding me
and Howard, and I'm not leaving

until you tell me
what's going on

inside that little head
of yours.

♪ Like the wild elephant ♪

♪ I am trumpeting
my love for you! ♪

♪ Like a hidden flower ♪

♪ My sweet fragrance
comes into view! ♪

♪ My heart burns for you
like the sun at noon! ♪

♪ My desert welcomes you
like the rainy monsoon! ♪

♪ You are my heart! ♪

♪ My universe! ♪

♪ You are my heart! ♪

♪ My universe! ♪

♪ My universe! ♪

♪ Hey! ♪

♪ You are my heart! ♪

♪ My universe! ♪

♪ You are my heart! ♪

♪ My universe! ♪

♪ You are my heart! ♪

♪ My universe! ♪

♪ My universe! ♪

Dance number aside,
I'm so not gay.

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