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If You Only Knew: Dan Harmon

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If You Only Knew: Simon Helberg

Larry King NowAug 19 '16

Simon Helberg plays 'If You Only Knew' on 'Larry King Now,' telling Larry his funniest fan encounter, person he'd most like to go to lunch with, and his proudest accomplishment.

King: Let's play a game of "If You Only Knew" Strangest fan encounter?

Helberg: Well, I got off the freeway and there was a homeless girl with a, you know, a cardboard sign and she asked for some money and I rolled down my window and then she started freaking out and she wanted me to autograph her homeless sign. I wanted to be really- I had this instinct to say "Well maybe you should sell your flat-screen TV that you watch my show on". No. I didn't know, I don't know what maybe I felt, it was very- that's when you know you're popular, when you...

King: That's a great- best part of being famous?

Helberg: Well, I like to eat so, you know, you can you can get a good reservation. And I'm Jewish, so you know I love doctors and they'll see you very

King: That's right.

Helberg: Because you're very important and, you know-

King: Worst part about being famous?

Helberg:The worst part is probably the more, you know, it does become harder, I guess, to walk around in, on the street in with my kids and I do like to look at how strange people often are and now I have to hide.

King: Marlon Brando told me that actors are better actors when they can observe other people. When they're being observed, it's very hard.

Helberg: Yeah, it is.

King:If not acting, what would you be doing? 

Helberg: Probably music, I think, yeah.

King: You'd have gone further with- you could have been a concert pianist. 

Helberg: I think I could, yeah, I mean-

King: Where did you study? 

Helberg: Well I only studied through high school. But I played jazz and, and that's- and I love doing that. I love playing rock and doing all them.

King: You play operatic stuff in the movie. 

Helberg: For the movie I had to, I had to learn a whole new genre. Classical and opera. 

King:Is there something you believed to be true, but wasn't?

Helberg: Oh, uhm-

King: You don't have to answer, it's not a courtroom.

Helberg: That- it's so sad. I like to believe in everything.

King: If you could have lunch with one person from history, who would it be and where would you take them?

Helberg: Well, I'd take, maybe, how about Jesus to Nate 'n Al's? Good? He's ultimately responsible and I know, I know- you know-

King: That would be home to him.

Helberg: I know.

King: He would know all the food.

Helberg: I would like to just thank him.

King: He would know all the food.

Helberg: He would, yeah, and I just don't know if he ever got to-

King: He would get his fill in.If you could switch places with someone for a day, who would it be?

Helberg: Switch? Geez, well it would be pretty interesting to, it would be interesting to spend a day in the life of the President, probably.

King: I bet.

Helberg: Just like to see that.

King: Best piece of advice you ever got about Hollywood?

Helberg: Somebody said in, when I was in acting school I think it was actually, might have been Frances McDormand. I think said -came into a guest classes and said, "I'm not any better at this than you people, I've just been doing it longer." And there's something very nice about that- that it's, you just put in the work.

King: Where did you grow up?

Helberg: I grew up in Los Angeles.

King: Oh, right here?

Helberg: Right here.

King: Always wanna act?

Helberg: No, I wanted to do, I wanted to do, well- multiple. I wanted to be a basketball player until I found out that I was a short white Jewish kid in Los Angeles, and then I wanted to do music and then I wanted to act when I was probably 16. I decided I, well-

King: With your impressions, did you wanna do comedy? 

Helberg: Yeah, I did a lot of sketch comedy. I never wanted to really get on stage and and just talk, but I like playing characters.

King: Favorite Big Bang Theory episode?

Helberg: Ooh, there is a, well, there's one when they send me to this simulation. They send me to- I have to go to space and then there's this whole program where you we study and they drop in an airplane and I talk about what happened and vomiting and it's- it's a hilarious story about vomit.

King: Simon Helberg in 10 years?

Helberg: Ah, 10 years... I'm hopefully on the beach somewhere just lying there, roasting.

King: With residuals, as Big Bang is now in its 40th year syndication.

Helberg: Yes, exactly.