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Wil Wheaton played himself on The Big Bang Theory, but his hilarious interactions with Sheldon (Jim Parsons) made him a beloved recurring character. As it turns out, the Star Trek: The Next Generation star was just as funny off-screen. And he recently described how one of his completely improvised moments left the entire cast and crew in a fit of laughter. 

Wil Wheaton and Jim Parsons in 'The Big Bang Theory'
Wil Wheaton and Jim Parsons in ‘The Big Bang Theory’ | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

Wil Wheaton was a child star

Wheaton started acting at age 8, when he landed a role in the 1981 film, A Long Way Home. He then went on to star in The Secret of NIMH and The Last Starfighter. And in 1986, he made waves as Gordie Lachance in Stand By Me, the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s novella, The Body.

Wheaton then joined the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation as Wesley Crusher. He appeared on the series from 1987 to 1991. Wheaton reprised the role for Star Trek Nemesis in 2002.

Since then, the actor has appeared on a number of TV shows, including Supergirl and Criminal Minds. And he’s had recurring roles on series like Leverage, Eureka, and Dark Matter.

Wil Wheaton in 'Star Trek'
Wil Wheaton in ‘Star Trek’ | CBS/Getty Images

He stars as himself on ‘The Big Bang Theory’

On The Big Bang Theory, Wheaton stars as himself. He made his series debut in the season 3 episode, “The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary,” in which he tricks Sheldon and beats him at a game of cards. 

Sheldon reveals that he’s despised Wheaton since he was a kid. He notes that he once went to an Wheaton event hoping to get a signed figurine of Wesley Crusher. But Sheldon is left angry and broken-hearted when Wheaton failed to show up.

Wil Wheaton, Jim Parsons, and Kevin Sussman in 'The Big Bang Theory'
Wil Wheaton, Jim Parsons, and Kevin Sussman in ‘The Big Bang Theory’ | CBS/Getty Images

Later in the season, Wheaton apologizes to Sheldon for standing him up and gives him an autographed figurine. He becomes part of Sheldon, Leonard (Johnny Galecki), Raj (Kunal Nayyar), and Howard’s (SImon Helberg) larger circle of friends. And he makes brief appearances throughout the series.

Wil Wheaton reveals how his improvised scene entertained the entire ‘Big Bang Theory’ crew

In a recent interview with, Wheaton talked about some of his most memorable Big Bang Theory moments. After describing the bowling alley scene, in which he regrettably chose to play with a 17-pound bowling ball for the entire 10-hour shoot, he revealed an improvised moment that sent the entire cast and crew into hysterics. 

Wil Wheaton in Season 9 of 'The Big Bang Theory'
Wil Wheaton in Season 9 of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ | CBS/Getty Images

In the season 9 episode, “The Opening Night Excitation,” Leonard, Raj, and Howard head to the theater to catch the premiere of the Star Wars film. Before the movie begins, Wheaton walks into the theater in a Star Trek uniform and gets booed by the audience. “Live long and suck it,” he responds.

According to Wheaton, that costume decision was a complete improvisation. And no one, besides a hand full of writers, knew that he would come in dressed like Spock.

The Big Bang Theory Season 9
The Big Bang Theory Season 9 | CBS/Getty Images

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“I come in, I walk into the end of the theatre in full Mr Spock gear,” he recalled. “So I come out and the explosion of like pants-sh***ing laughter that comes out in that moment was genuine and it came from the entire cast and crew.”

“When you can make the crew laugh,” Wheaton continued. “When you can kill the crew on a sitcom, it feels really, really, really good. It’s like hitting a home run.”