With Mayim Bialik reprising her role as Dr Amy Fowler on Young Sheldonviewers prove time and time again that fans of beloved TBBT the characters are not going anywhere. At his height, The Big Bang Theory averaged 18.6 million viewers, making it the most-watched TV show in America. For an up-and-coming actor and comedian, having exposure to such a large audience every week has the power to showcase their talent and launch their career.
Stars like Kaley Cuoco and Jim Parsons will forever be known for their iconic performances and catchphrases, but the show consistently featured notable but little-known guest stars who would get Oscar wins, critical acclaim, or even a resurgence in career playing on the Show.
ten Steven Yeun – Sebastian (The Implementation of the Staircase)
Ten years before earning an Oscar nomination for his role as “Jacob” in minari, Steven Yeun guest-starred in one episode as Sebastian – Sheldon Cooper’s disgruntled former roommate. According to IMDb, this is Yeun’s first TV credit of 2010. Yeun would land The Walking Dead the same year, propelling him to stardom as Glenn for 81 episodes.
Steven Yeun is best known for his dramatic roles, but audiences see a glimpse of what made Glenn The Walking Dead so popular. Her delivery of the line “run away, man” shows Yeun’s ability to balance comedy and drama; something that figures prominently in The Walking Dead. Yeun is currently in post-production with the 2022 horror film. Nopedirected by Jordan Peele.
9 Sarayu Blue – Lalita Gupta (The Grasshopper Experiment)
Sarayu Blue appeared in a Season 1 episode as Lalita Gupta, an old childhood friend of Raj. The two go on a failed date and Lalita ends up flirting with Sheldon. After guest-starring in 2007, Blue has racked up impressive comedy credits: feature films Blockers, To All The Boys: PS I Still Love You, Happiest Seasonand star of her own TV show, I feel bad in 2018.
In this guest star, audiences can see the beginnings of what makes Blue so popular: her ability to bring vulnerability and multi-dimensionality to a romantic role. Blue’s characters are never afraid to put themselves in awkward situations like she often did as Emet in I feel bad. Blue just wrapped the film, hollywood star girl with Uma Thurman and is in production as “Hilary Starr” on Expats with Nicole Kidman.
8 Judy Greer – Dr. Elizabeth Plimpton (The Plimpton Stimulation)
When it comes to comedy, Judy Greer is the master of joke mechanics, timing, and punchlines. Greer has had a career as a guest star and in supporting roles in feature films. As Dr. Elizabeth Plimpton, Greer plays a famous quantum cosmologist with a strong attraction to Leonard.
Greer is a comedic assassin who has a recognizable face and voice, but remained relatively unknown for many years. His 2014 book, I don’t know what you know me from: my life as a co-star, shows through his own essays that after decades as an actor, stardom can be out of reach. Luckily, after playing Dr. Plimpton, Greer gets the recognition she deserves. Since 2015, she has made the leap to major film franchises like Halloween, jurassic world, and Marvel Studios Ant-Man.
7 Ally Maki – Joyce Kim (The Stair Implementation)
Ally Maki starred as Joyce Kim, “a spy who poses as Leonard’s girlfriend. Leonard tricks her into bringing home rocket fuel to impress her and accidentally leaks government secrets. Since her appearance in the show, Maki starred in several TV series such as Wreckage, cloak and daggerand Dear Whites.
Maki’s signature style plays high energy roles. Joyce Kim is the start of a series of determined characters like engineer Mina Hess on Cloak and Dagger and Giggle McDimples of toy story 4. Mix that with her tight comedic timing and Maki shows her ability to create memorable characters.
6 Aaron Takahashi – Scientist (Hofstadter’s Insufficiency)
Aaron Takahashi had a long career in comedy, but went from no-name co-stars to major recurring roles after appearing as a scientist in season 7 where Amy and Bernadette go to a biology convention.
According to an article titled That guy in that ad, by Chris Komai, Takahashi has appeared in more than 50 national commercial campaigns and is one of television’s most instantly recognizable actors. Takahashi embodies the modern Everyman in his roles, bringing comfortable likability to the screen. After The Big Bang TheoryTakahashi played the role of Lloyd Chung in Mister Robot and visible on Kenan for NBC.
5 Eric Andre – Joey (The 21 Second Excitement)
Long before 2018 The Eric André showAndre played Joey, a one-time guest star in an Indiana-Jones themed episode where Sheldon and the gang attempt to see an extended cut of The Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Sitcoms are all about timing, and André’s sardonic style develops perfectly as funny theater worker Joey. He is quick with his delivery; a skill honed in his bigger TV roles. Since then, Andre has racked up his entire resume from his own show to feature film and TV titles like The internship, 2 Broke Girls, Archer, Disenchantment, and Virtuous Gemstones.
4 Octavia Spencer – DMV Employee (The Euclid Alternative)
It’s hard to imagine an Oscar winner in an unnamed role, but that’s exactly where Octavia Spencer is seen during an episode where Penny takes Sheldon to get his driver’s license. Spencer already had a long career as a guest on film and television, but just three years after appearing as an anonymous DMV employee, Spencer broke out as Minny Jackson in Uglya character that won her the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
Spencer’s ability to laugh at just a look is unmatched. Even in a small role as the DMV clerk, Spencer shines and consistently delivers scene-stealing performances – often acting as the voice of reason. Spencer has since become a major Hollywood star and earned Oscar nominations for hidden numbers (2016) and The shape of water (2017).
3 Courtney Henggeler – Missy Cooper (The Pork Chop Indeterminacy)
Courtney Henggeler is best known for playing Amanda LaRusso on the hit series, Cobra Kai, but before becoming widely known, Henggeler portrayed Missy Cooper, Sheldon’s friendly twin sister. While Missy is a huge character in Young Sheldonthe adult Missy is only seen for two episodes over the course of the series.
Henggeler plays the perfect comedic flick for Sheldon, balancing his pragmatic extremes with warmth and empathy. TBBT was a fantastic springboard for Henggeler as audiences can see her bring the same qualities to her character Amanda LaRusso – another perfect film for Ralph Macchio’s Daniel LaRusso. Henggeler’s success isn’t slowing down – she’s currently filming the George Clooney-directed film, The boys in the boatwith Joel Edgerton opposite.
2 Lauren Lapkus – Denise (The Polarization of the Comet)
Prior to starring in the 2020 romantic comedy Happy Madison, The bad missLauren Lapkus appeared in eight episodes of The Big Bang Theory as Denise, the new assistant manager of The Comic Book Store who ends up forming a happy relationship with Stuart.
This role occurred during the same years as Lapkus’ dramatic turn in ILONB and solidified her as a three-dimensional actor. Lapkus brings an amiability to intensely comedic and fearless characters. She stands up to the regulars of the series and shows very early with Denise that she is capable of directing a film or a series. Since then, Lapkus has become a comedy staple in animation and live action with recurring roles in Good Girls, Star Trek: Lower Decksand inner work.
1 Kate Micucci – Lucy (Love Spell Potential)
According to IMDb, Kate Micucci has been an active actress since 2004, but it wasn’t until her recurring role as Lucy that roles started picking up for her. The show features Micucci’s signature portrayal of an awkwardly charming woman who ends up being Raj’s girlfriend in Season 6. TBBT contributed to Micucci’s success as she was able to bring her quirky comedy style to a large network audience for 8 episodes.
Micucci superfans will recognize her as Oates from the comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates. Since he starred in The Big Bang TheoryMicucci can be seen in The Wee Hours, The Lego Batman Movie, and Flora & Ulysses.
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