Big Bang Theory's Mayim Bialik Has Many Titles, Now One of Them is Game Show Host

Illustration by Britt Spencer

"I'm a mom of two kids, my boys are 11 and 14, so there's really no such thing as normal."

Mayim Bialik holds many titles: actress, writer, neuroscientist, mother and now, thanks to TBS' Celebrity Show-Off, she can add game show host to that list. "I'm a huge game show person. I've been on a lot of shows before, but to be honest, I've never been asked to host something." After a long—and Emmy nominated—run on The Big Bang Theory, Bialik wasted no time between projects. Next on deck is the comedy series Call Me Kat, produced with Big Bang co-star Jim Parsons and loosely based on the BBC series Miranda, debuting in 2021. "Kat is a woman who doesn't have it all and is still happy. I think that's very important." Bialik will also soon make her directing debut with the film As Sick as They Made Us, starring Olivia Thirlby, Simon Helberg, Candice Bergen and Dustin Hoffman. With all the projects Bialik has going on—she also would like to write another book—one might think her schedule is chaotic, but that's something she says she's accustomed to. "I'm a mom of two kids, my boys are 11 and 14, so there's really no such thing as normal."

Did social isolation benefit the making of Celebrity Show-Off?

We've pushed the bounds of creativity, like how can we create something out of nothing? In this case, the "nothing" was not really being able to leave our homes. For the celebrity guests, it's a fun challenge to see what you can create when all you have is yourself and your home.

Considering the protests and the pandemic, was it difficult to film the show right now?

Seeing how much people were willing to be playful and open their homes, and the fact that they're playing for charity made me feel like there is an appropriate way for us to provide entertainment right now. I really hope we've struck that balance.

What was it about Call Me Kat that inspired you?

When Jim approached me, he said, "We want to make an American version of a show about a very, very unusual woman who is both lovable and frustrating and human. If anyone can pull that off, we think it's you."

Outside acting, you've really created a lifestyle brand, with your books on parenting and your work on the website Kveller. Do you have plans to write more about parenting and Jewish life?

The Jewish world is where I tend to want to revolve. I feel like that's a place that I will always want to land. I'm only an expert on what I've done up until today, meaning every day is a new day as a parent.

You made your film debut in the Bette Midler classic Beaches. Do you remember feeling like you were a part of something big?

I was a 12-year-old who had just started acting. When the movie came out it was actually the week of my bat mitzvah. That was the first time that I realized, "Oh, something's happening here. This is going to change my life forever." What came next was Blossom, and now I'm talking to you [laughs].