Theoretical physicist and author Stephen Hawking, who died at his home on March 14 at age 76, was renowned for his theories on the black hole in space and the origin of the universe.
Hawking’s contributions to science and our understanding of the universe are well-known, but his fame also resulted in multiple appearances across pop culture. Here are some of his best and funniest moments in TV and film.
Star Trek: The Next Generation
In the Season 6 episode Descent, Part 1, a holographic depiction of Hawking is seen playing poker with the android Data, together with Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. Hawking played himself in the episode (making him the only actor in the history of Star Trek to play himself in an episode), and during a tour of the set, he requested, and was allowed, to sit in the captain’s chair of the Enterprise-D.
The Big Bang Theory
Hawking first made a brief cameo appearance in The Hawking Excitation (Season 5, Ep 21), pointing out an error in superfan Sheldon Cooper’s scientific research paper.
Hawking would then make more voice-over appearances on the show, and his final appearance for The Big Bang Theory was in last year’s Season 11 premiere episode The Proposal Proposal where he advised Sheldon on his decision to marry Amy.
— The Big Bang Theory (@bigbangtheory) March 14, 2018
Of course Hawking has been on The Simpsons. Who hasn’t? The scientist voiced his animated self in the show several times with his first appearance going way back to an episode where he rescued Lisa from trouble in 1999.
In 2010, he made another appearance where he performed a rap scene with New Zealand comedy duo Flight Of The Conchords.
The scientist has also appeared on Futurama (also by Simpsons creator Matt Groening) with his first appearance back in 2010 in an episode with Al Gore.
Most recently, Hawkings voiced himself in the promotional video for Futurama: World Of Tomorrow app with other scientists like Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Watch the video to find out how many times he has appeared in Futurama because he’d tell you.
The Theory Of Everything
British actor Eddie Redmayne won an Oscar for playing Hawking in the biopic The Theory Of Everything in 2014.
Redmayne was understandably nervous about meeting Hawking for the first time. He recalled how he excitedly told Hawking that they both share the same star sign in an interview with The Guardian.
How did Hawking respond to that? “I am an astronomer, not an astrologer,” he said.
Into The Universe With Stephen Hawking
In 2010, Hawking wrote and narrated this three-part Discovery series about the mysteries of the universe. Actor Benedict Cumberbatch lent his voice as a narrator as well.
Fun fact: Cumberbatch had previously portrayed Hawking in a BBC TV movie released in 2004.