Simon Helberg did not leave the Big Bang Theory set empty-handed. As the actor reveals in the above video Q&A with TVLine, he helped himself to an iconic Howard-related memento after taping the series’ final episode two weeks ago.
“I took the Nintendo controller belt buckle that I wore in the pilot,” Helberg shares. “It’s small and indestructible and it means something to me. The character came together fully when I put on that crazy wardrobe that [Big Bang costume guru] Mary Quigley designed so brilliantly.”
Ironically, his alter ego’s “crazy wardrobe” was the one thing Helberg could not wait to shed when he walked off Stage 25 for the final time. “I [was] happy to have embodied that odd fella [for 12 years, but] as soon as I peeled those pants off I was happy to hang them up like the jersey of a tiny Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar].”
Echoing a sentiment recently shared by cast mate Johnny Galecki, Helberg believes the time was right to walk away from the Big Bang universe. “It was time to say goodbye. I think that’s a healthy thing. I don’t think that means that you’re going to have an easy go of it. But it feels like we’ve said all we could say. And I think that’s something we can all be proud of.”
The Big Bang Theory‘s two-part series finale airs Thursday at 8/7c on CBS.