Sunday, March 4, 2012

Howard Wolowitz

Howard Joel Wolowitz, M.Eng is a fictional character on the CBS television series The Big Bang Theory, portrayed by actor Simon Helberg.

Among the main male characters in the show, Howard is distinguished for lacking a doctoral degree, for still living with his mother, and for believing himself to be a "ladies' man".

Simon Helberg's character is named after a computer programmer known by the show's co-creator Bill Prady.

Howard is a Jewish Aerospace Engineer at Caltech's Department of Applied Physics who often hangs out at Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon Cooper's (Jim Parsons) apartment. He is best friends with Rajesh Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar). He was born in 1981 as specified in season one's episode "The Pancake Batter Anomaly".

Howard sports a bowl-style haircut and tends to wear loud, vintage, 1960-era outfits, a V-neck or t-shirt over a turtleneck or dickey which sport a variety of pins, and always has skinny jeans. He is also fond of unusual belt buckles, which have included a Nintendo controller, a silver Batman logo, a 45 RPM record insert, a Klingon communicator, and a buckle containing the superhero the Flash.

Like his friends, Howard is a big fan of comic books and superheroes. It is also quite clear that his current and preferred personal transportation is via his Vespa motor scooter.

Besides English, Howard can speak several languages including French, Mandarin, Russian, Arabic, Persian and the constructed language Klingon from the Star Trek franchise. Although in the show, Howard has been mentioned to speak these languages, the writers have not explored his proficiency much. In the season three episode "The Precious Fragmentation", he also has shown he knows some words in Sindarin, one of the two dialects of the fictional Elvish language that J.R.R. Tolkien invented for the Lord of the Rings novels. The episode "The Wiggly Finger Catalyst" also reveals he knows American Sign Language.

Howard fancies himself a "ladies' man" and he provides outrageous pick-up lines whenever there is a female present, resulting in humiliating turn-downs. Howard describes himself as a romantic, although he usually comes across as overtly sexual and, in the words of Penny, disgusting. However, Penny's animosity toward Howard has mellowed somewhat since Howard began dating Penny's work colleague Bernadette, to whom he is now engaged.

Howard, much like Penny, dislikes many of Sheldon's antics, but he has grown accustomed to them. One time, Penny asked how Sheldon had gotten friends and Howard simply replied "We liked Leonard".

Howard is allergic to peanuts, and they pose a life-threatening risk to him. He also mentioned having transient idiopathic arrhythmia. Howard is proud of the fact that he has only 3% body fat, which Raj notes makes him look like a human chicken wing.

Although Jewish, Howard is not very serious about his faith and does not keep kosher. For instance, he eats pork, and when the price of pork went up at the group's favorite Chinese restaurant, he remarked "it's getting tougher and tougher to be a bad Jew". In another occasion, when Howard tried to date Sheldon's sister, Missy, he said he would kill his rabbi with a pork chop if his religion was an impediment, and one of the reasons he was happy to continue dating Bernadette (who is Catholic) was the chance to really annoy his mom. Despite this, Howard has shown some belief in his faith. When he and Raj posed as goths to pick up women, he wore fake-tattoo sleeves and refused to get real ones (although he attempted to get one but was too scared of the needle). It is noted in "The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis" that he observes Hanukkah. He also apparently attends High Holiday services, as Sheldon once critically noted that he was not available to compete in Halo during those times. In "The Financial Permeability" he made the sign of the Cross - a Roman Catholic practice - during an encounter with Kurt, Penny's ex-boyfriend.

As of the episode "The Herb Garden Germination", he is engaged to Bernadette when she said yes to his marriage proposal.

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