Stephen Hawking's best pop culture moments, from The Simpsons to The Big Bang Theory
14 March 2018, 09:51
Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76, and he leaves behind a legacy that will never be forgotten.
The celebrated scientist and author never shied away from poking fun at himself, and would often appear in various TV shows and movies that he loved.
Here are just a handful of his finest moments on screen and beyond that always put a smile on our face...
1. The Simpsons
The long-running cartoon launched just a year after Hawking's book A Brief History of Time, and in 1999 he actually visited Springfield in the hilarious episode 'They Saved Lisa's Brain'.
In it, Stephen gave the rioting town a fantastic put down: “I don’t know what is a bigger disappointment, my failure to formulate a unified field theory … or you.” He also said that Homer’s “theory of a donut shaped universe is intriguing”.
Hawking appeared in the series a few more times, and he even had his own official plastic figurine in his office. He also appeared in creator Matt Groening's other series Futurama.
He later said: “The Simpsons appearances were great fun. But I don’t take them too seriously. I think The Simpsons have treated my disability responsibly.”
2. The Big Bang Theory
Considering it's a sitcom about geeky scientists, it made sense that their hero Stephen Hawking made SEVEN appearances in the show.
The best moment saw character Sheldon meet his idol, only for Stephen to take the mickey out of his paper: “You made an arithmetic mistake on page two. It was quite the boner.”
3. Star Trek: The Next Generation
Stephen featured up in the season six finale of TNG, where he played poker with Data, Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton as holograms, as you do.
The professor was known to be a famous Trekkie, and his book A Brief History of Time was adapted into a documentary by actor Leonard Nimoy, aka, Spock.
4. Little Britain
The physicist also had a laugh with Matt Lucas and David Walliams for a Comic Relief cameo in Little Britain.
In it, he was pushed along by carer Lou, as he taught him how to say "quack" like a duck. Stephen replied with a series of brilliant comebacks, before turning into a giant rocket-launching transformer robot.
5. Pink Floyd
The Floyd sampled Stephen Hawking's electronic voice in their single 'Keep Talking'.
The song was released on their 1994 album The Division Bell, using samples of his voice recorded for a BT advert. It includes the phrase: "For millions of years mankind lived just like the animals.
"Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination: we learned to talk" and "It doesn't have to be like this. All we need to do is make sure we keep talking."
Guitarist David Gilmour later said: "This was the most powerful piece of television advertising that I’ve ever seen in my life. I don’t think he even wrote the words that they used with him, but he was in it, in his wheelchair.
"He looks kind of strange. And I just found it so moving that I felt that I had to try and do something with it, or with him or something, in some way."
6. Go Compare
Yes, Stephen Hawking actually appeared in Go Compare adverts, and they were brilliant.
It's a known fact that no-one likes Gino Compario's annoying ads, and so Stephen saved the day by using his knowledge of black holes to attract one to suck in the opera singer.
He said at the time: "I am an opera fan so I was delighted to be given the opportunity to help save the nation and silence Gio."
7. The 2012 Paralympic Games
One of the highlights of the London 2012 Paralympic Games opening ceremony was Stephen Hawking's appearance.
He said during the performance: "Ever since the dawn of civilisation, people have craved for an understanding of the underlying order of the world. Why is it as it is, and why it exists at all.
"But, even if we do find a complete theory of everything, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations, and makes a universe for them to describe?”