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Why Jim Parsons Thought His Big Bang Theory Audition Was For A Game Show

Before the cameras start rolling on any given project, it's hard to determine just how much success that project will enjoy. In the end, though, all it takes is some great performances, top-tier writing, and a dedicated crew to get the wheels turning. Combine all of that with a bit of luck, and you could well be on the road to success. That was the invaluable equation applied to the much-loved sitcom "The Big Bang Theory." After premiering on CBS in 2007, the series ran for 12 years on the network, winning a sizable collection of Emmys along the way.

One major component of the show's successful formula was the consistent comedic wallop delivered by actor Jim Parsons. During his time as Sheldon Cooper, the actor won four Emmys in a role that undeniably changed his life forever. His performance as the super-genius that lacked social skills was a career-defining gig and one beloved by millions of fans all over the world. It was also one that audiences came close to never seeing. In fact, if not for a small misunderstanding by Parsons, it is possible that "The Big Bang Theory" could have looked quite a bit different.

Jim Parsons mistook his TV legends and expected a Love Connection

Appearing on "The Late Show with David Letterman" in 2014 (via The Wrap), Jim Parsons revealed that when the opportunity came knocking for a job that would change his life, he didn't really have an idea just how much of an impact it would make. Notably, he also wasn't entirely aware of the people involved in the production. Prior to his audition, the man that would be Sheldon was under the assumption that "The Big Bang Theory" mastermind Chuck Lorre, who was responsible for the likes of "Two and a Half Men," was actually someone else entirely. 

"I did not know Chuck Lorre at the time," Parsons recalled, instead assuming he was having a meeting with another famous TV Chuck. "I thought he was talking about Chuck Woolery," Parsons admitted, referring to the former host of game shows like "Wheel of Fortune," "The Love Connection," and "Lingo." 

Thanks to this mix-up, Parsons was far cooler about the whole situation than his agent, who was fully aware of Lorre's supreme sitcom power. According to Parsons, he couldn't quite understand why his agent was so excited. "I thought, why are they so excited about it," Parsons revealed. "We should see what the man has to offer before we're like, 'It's a new Chuck Woolery pilot!'" 

It's this kind of naivety that may well have sealed the deal for Parson to win the gig as Sheldon, setting his career off with what can only be described as a very Big Bang.