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Looper Asks: What's Your Favorite Cameo On The Big Bang Theory? - Exclusive Survey

"The Big Bang Theory" did just about everything a sitcom could do while it was on the air, winning virtually every major award in the game, becoming a legitimate ratings sensation, and claiming as prominent a spot in the pop culture pantheon as many of the shows and movies its main characters idolized. And that's saying a lot for a show that largely centered on a group of scientifically inclined goofballs who spent the bulk of their screen time talking about comic books, playing video games, and obsessing over sci-fi and fantasy films.  

That core group of characters, of course, stuck around pretty much from the show's 2007 pilot episode all the way through its 2019 finale. Over that span, "The Big Bang Theory" creative team got pretty good at keeping things fresh by way of bolstering the narratives of supporting players and adding new full-time characters to the mix. Series producers were also exceedingly adept at bringing famous faces aboard for cameo appearances, with icons from the scientific community and pop culture making regular appearances on the show throughout. So much so that it eventually became a bit of a game to guess which bastion of nerd culture "The Big Bang Theory" gang would get to meet next.

Thanks to a recent Looper survey, we no longer have to guess which celebrity cameo meant the most to fans of the series. Here's who "The Big Bang Theory" diehards crowned the king of the cameo.

Stephen Hawking's recurring role on The Big Bang Theory is tops among fans

As fans no doubt recall, over the course of its 280-episode run, everyone from Bill Gates to Bill Nye turned up for an episode or two of "The Big Bang Theory." Even legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin made an appearance on the show. But in the eyes of the 606 "The Big Bang Theory" superfans Looper surveyed, those cameos all paled in comparison to ones made by the late, great Stephen Hawking, who scored an impressive 22.77% of votes. 

In doing so, Hawking bested the likes of TV legend Bob Newhart (runner-up with 21.29%), Marvel Comics mastermind Stan Lee (20.46%), "Star Wars" alums James Earl Jones (17.00%) and Mark Hamill (12.71%), and Oscar-winning "Watchmen" star Regina King (5.78%). Hawking, of course, had a bit of an edge over the competition as he actually made seven appearances on "The Big Bang Theory" (mostly through video chats) prior to his 2018 passing. There is a certain poeticism in Hawking taking the top spot, however, as he was not only regarded as one of the greatest scientific minds the world has yet seen (via Biography), but was also renowned for his crackling sense of humor.

And yes, both Hawking's mind and wit were well on display during those cameos as he eventually became the wise, and wise-cracking mentor to Jim Parsons' socially inept Dr. Sheldon Cooper. Hawking's final appearance came in the Season 11 premiere of "The Big Bang Theory," and you better believe his final interaction with Sheldon was as hilarious as it was heartfelt.