With his giant eyes, vulnerable face, and noodle-thin body, Jim Parsons at first looks harmless playing scientist Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory. Then, on the show, he will say something like: “My father used to say a woman is like an egg-salad sandwich on a warm Texas day—full of eggs and only appealing for a short time.”

Sheldon’s a Klingon-speaking, string-theory-izing, cos-playing Archie Bunker, that too truthful crank who tickles TV viewers (of which TBBT has a gazillion), Emmy voters (he’s won twice), and melittologists (a species of Brazilian bee was named after his nonsense catchphrase “bazinga”).

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