Sheldon strikes big bang for Geeks at Emmys

Last night was a big night for nerds. Jim Parsons (aka Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory) won an Emmy for best actor in a comedy series, beating out front-runners Matthew Morrison (Glee) and Alec Baldwin (30 Rock), neither of whom would ever be accused of being a nerd. Parsons, however, plays the nerdy theoretical physicist Sheldon well enough to be on his way to icon status. (A physics major I know tells me that people in her class refer to especially geeky fellow students as “sheldons.’) That’s what writing is all about — making it real. That’s true no matter what you are writing.

What is especially impressive about Parsons’ win is that his character was not originally planned as the series lead. Rather, he was the break-out character (a la Kramer on Seinfeld, or Dwight on The Office). But his characterization of Sheldon stole the show. Some even say he has made geekiness cool. If so, that’s the acting equivalent of splitting the atom.

Allan Golombek

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