Q: Can Johnny Galecki really play the cello like his character on "The Big Bang Theory"?

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Adam Thomlison / TV Media

For a show about scientists, the characters on "The Big Bang Theory" were all pretty artistic. Of course, the actors are artists first — they just play scientists on TV (with the exception of Mayim Bialik, who actually has a PhD in neuroscience), so it's not that surprising that they all actually know how to play their instruments, Johnny Galecki included.

Galecki, who starred on the show as Leonard, has been playing the cello since he was very young.

He has, of course, been acting since he was very young as well — he was just 12 when he appeared in his first screen role (a 1987 NBC telefilm called "Time Out for Dad") — but it hasn't always been easy. According to CBS, he once had to sell his cello to pay bills (though he's since bought a new one with all that "Big Bang Theory" money).

But Galecki's cello skills aren't even the most impressive musical accomplishment on the show. That honor goes to Jim Parsons, whose character, Sheldon, plays the theremin on the show. Parsons actually learned it himself specifically for the role. That's pretty impressive given that the theremin is known as one of the most difficult instruments to learn.

Bialik gets a close second, though. She already knew how to play the piano, bass and trumpet, but for her role as Amy she learned to play another famously difficult instrument: the harp.

Simon Helberg (who plays Howard) is also a pretty strong piano player — as we see on the show when he forms the band Footprints on the Moon with Raj (played by Kunal Nayyar).

That leaves us with Penny (played by Kaley Cuoco). At a media event, when the other cast members were talking about these musical accomplishments, she offered a comment that almost sounded in-character: "And when Penny drinks, she's really drinking!"


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