Big Bang Theory Lands Stephen Hawking Cameo

British scientist Stephen Hawking gives a lecture at KU Leuven university, on October 25, 2011 in Leuven. Yesterday more than 2500 KUL-students showed up for the 850 available tickets for the lecture. The university decided to put up a giant screen so the unfortunate ones without a ticket can follow the lecture too. AFP PHOTO/ BELGA/ BRUNO FAHY ***BELGIUM OUT*** (Photo credit should read BRUNO FAHY/AFP/Getty Images) Photo: BRUNO FAHY/2011 AFP

Stephen Hawking will appear on The Big Bang Theory later this season, which means the show will have trumped American Idol both in ratings and in theoretical physicists. BBT has had big-name science stars before — national hero Neil deGrasse Tyson, George F. Smoot — but Hawking is more or less the holy grail of scientist cameos. He's appeared on Futurama and The Simpsons a bunch of times, and cameoed as a hologram on Star Trek: TNG, but this is his first sitcom role. Finally, the man has achieved something.