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A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

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St. Louisan Jessica Radloff’s ‘The Big Bang Theory’ book coming soon in paperback


One year after her first book was released, St. Louis native Jessica Radloff’s “The Big Bang Theory. The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series” is coming out in paperback with additional pages and content not seen in the hardback.

Radloff, who is the Senior West Coast Editor at Glamour, graduated from Parkway Central High School in 1997 and grew up a member of United Hebrew Congregation, where her family still belongs.

“I’m really excited that there are 16 pages with 48 new, never-before-seen photos in the paperback version,” said Radloff. “My favorites are Kaley Cuoco’s Polaroids, and also plenty of photos from the early days of the show, before everyone had iPhones. It feels like a time capsule.”
Radloff’s book original book was released on Oct. 11, 2022. The paperback version will be released next month on October 10.
Readers can pre-order the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, their local bookseller, etc., or by visiting www.thebigbangtheorybook.com

The Jewish origin story of the book

How “The Big Bang Theory. The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series” came to be is actually a very Jewish story, according to Radloff.

She was initially approached by a literary agent about the idea of doing an oral history of the show in late August 2020. In September, and already in St. Louis for the High Holidays, she did some research on what such a project might entail. Oral histories of successful TV shows are not a new practice and usually involve the full participation of all involved, if possible. This allows the author to piece together the singular story from multiple voices.

“I went to the Barnes and Noble in Chesterfield, and looked at published oral histories on shows like ‘Modern Family’ and the  ‘The Office’ to see what they looked like. I remember opening up the books and saying to myself, ‘Oh, I can do this,'” said Radloff. “Of course, I had no idea how involved and difficult it actually was.”

Radloff approached Glamour with the idea and they gave her the green light to take on the project, on her own time.  She next texted Steven Molaro, the executive producer of the show.

“I texted him on a Friday and told him I had something presented to me and I wanted his advice. He responded by telling me to call him tomorrow, which was Saturday and Rosh Hashanah. I never work on Rosh Hashanah, but in this case, I made the exception and called him.”

Looking back now, Radloff says it feels even more significant that the book project really got off the ground on the Jewish New Year.

“The start of the new year, and new beginnings. I remember calling him after services and told him the idea, ” said Radloff.

It took Molaro less than 30 seconds to tell her she had to do this. She had to write the book. He also offered to reach out to Chuck Lorre, the show’s creator. Radloff knew there could be no book without Lorre’s support. The conversation with Molaro lasted two hours and ended with Radloff confident that she was onto something big.

“I was concerned that because the show had been covered ad nauseam for years, there was nothing new to tell and uncover. But he (Molaro) really put me at ease that there were plenty of stories yet to tell.”

A month later Molaro spoke to Lorre.

“I was scared out of my mind about this actually happening because I knew this was going to be a big deal, and this was going to change my life if I embarked on this,” remembered Radloff. “I convinced myself that I would be OK if Chuck said yes to this idea and also that I’d be okay if he didn’t.”

Chuck Lorre said yes.

“But, at the moment I heard Chuck had said yes, I realized that had he said no, I would have been crushed,” said Radloff.

Now, with the blessing of Chuck Lorre, the work really began.

The Big Bang Book

Radloff was off and running. One by one, the cast and the producing and writing teams all agreed to the project.

“Here’s the thing about the cast of ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ they love and respect the show so much that not only did they all agree to participate, but they also gave me unlimited time and access. No question was off the table, no topic too difficult, no request went unanswered,” said Radloff.

In the interviews, no one holds back

The process of writing the book included doing extensive interviews with the cast. From her descriptions of each interview, Radloff could probably write another book.  To prep for the cast interviews, Radloff filled up 100 pages of notes after rewatching all 279 episodes of the show, plus the unaired pilot. In total, she conducted more than 120 hours of interviews, with each one creating a new and lasting memory for the author.

“There were so many surprises. I remember being genuinely shocked to the point that many of the actors did not know a lot of these stories,” said Radloff.

One such revelation that Radloff writes in the book, involves actors Simon Helberg (Howard Wolowitz) and Kevin Sussman (Stuart Bloom).

“Sussman had auditioned for quite a few of the roles on the show during the pilot process and Helberg knew that the producer really liked Sussman,” said Radloff. “Helberg also believed that he was the only actor cast as Wolowitz, but really it was Sussman who was the first cast.”

According to Radloff, things went on behind the scenes that made it impossible for Sussman to continue in that role, and then the producers turned to Helberg. But no one ever told Helberg. Sussman remained silent because the two were friends and he did not want to create an awkward moment on set.

“This all happened during the interviews and some of the cast didn’t know, but some of them did. It was mind-boggling. I couldn’t believe it when Kevin Sussman told this to me and that he never told Helberg,” said Radloff. “There was so much that went down behind the scenes with this decision, but you’ll need to read the rest in the book.”


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About the Contributor
Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content Officer
Jordan worked at KSDK from 1995 to 2020. Jordan is a three-time Emmy award winner who produced every kind of show from news to specials during his tenure, creating Show Me St. Louis, The Cardinal Nation Show. He started ksdk.com in 2001 and won three Edward R. Murrow Awards for journalistic and website excellence in 2010, 2014 and 2020. Jordan has been married for 25 years and is the father of two college students. He is an avid biker, snowboarder, and beer lover. He created the blog drink314.com, focusing on the St. Louis beer community in 2015. Jordan has an incredible and vast knowledge of useless information and is the grandson of a Cleveland bootlegger.