Wil Wheaton Blew Up My Twitter Account (or That’s Show Business)

Sean Sandulak Verbatim Gibberish Wil Wheaton Big Bang Theory vomit spin-off

This pretty much says it all

So, I just wanted to immortalize this on the blog before it disappeared forever from the twittersphere. Friday morning, on a whim, I threw together a quick caption from a behind-the-scenes photo of Wil Wheaton and his wife Anne on the set of Big Bang Theory. If you haven’t seen the episode, it was taken on Wil Wheaton’s front porch (not really his, it’s just a TV set people) shortly after Jim Parsons‘s character Sheldon (spoiler) gets drunk and throws up in the bushes.

Anyway, I thought I was being clever, so I threw it up on the twitters and mentioned @wilw and @AnneWheaton, because I thought they might get a kick out of it.

And I guess he did because he retweeted it. To over two million people. Granted, it is twitter, so half of those are probably spambots, but still THAT’S A LOT OF PEOPLE! (I may have just moved up from Z-list celebrity to the Y-list. That means they won’t let you in the clubs, but you can wash famous people’s dishes. Part-time.) But what it really taught me is that you should not send funny tweets to celebrities without first turning off push notifications on your iPad. I couldn’t use it for half an hour, and finally had to unplug the wifi so I could clear the screen and reset it. I’m still getting favorites and retweets two days later. (I am officially labelling a retweet by a Wheaton as a retwheaton. And you can’t stop me.)

All kidding aside, that has got to be one of the greatest things about social media. Before the Internet, you might have met a celebrity at a signing or randomly on the street, but now you can follow them (in a non-stalker-y way), get insights into their characters, and even send them a message. And if they’re not a complete douche canoe, they’ll read it and maybe even give something back.

Anyone can join in and play, too. My favorite thing that happened was that some random person in Ohio forwarded that caption to Bill Prady, the executive producer for the show. Can you imagine if he saw that and thought, “You know, maybe we could give Wil Wheaton his own show.” And he takes the idea to Chuck Lorre and they shop it to the network. Those guys love it because they grew up watching Next Generation and nerds are hot property right now. (By the way, if you don’t know who Wil Wheaton is, shame on you and stop reading now.) They make a pilot and it gets picked up. The next thing you know, Big Bang is the lead-in for a new geeky sitcom, starring you-know-who, because that is how the entertainment industry actually works.

You’re welcome.

Now that I think about it, that would be an awesome show. You could have Wil Wheaton, interacting with “fans” at conventions, all kinds of crazy costumes, and lots of guest appearances by Star Trek alumni. It would be kind of like the fifth season of The Guild, only with a budget. I would totally watch that show. Somebody start a petition. Anything would be better than Two and a Half Men. (No offence, Mr. Lorre, sir.)

Of course I realize someone like Wil Wheaton (like Sheldon, I always have to say both names) gets thousands of mentions every day. But there are a lot of other “famous” people who only have a few thousands or tens-of-thousands of followers. It’s a fun sort of game to see who you can get to answer your tweets.

If you want to try here are a few simple suggestions:

  1. Follow them. (Duh.) Find out if they are really the person you thought they were.
  2. Don’t expect them to answer right away. They are busy people with fabulous lives or you wouldn’t be trying to get their attention.
  3. Don’t overdue it. Stalkers get blocked.
  4. Try and figure out when they are online. Do they tweet over breakfast or are they a night owl? Don’t forget they may be in a different time zone.
  5. Talk about what interests them. It’s often their careers or current projects. Just like you, they like to talk (and complain) about their jobs. And it’s Hollywood, so many people are narcissists.
  6. Don’t be dull.

So what is the result of all this fuss and bother. Not much in the grand scheme of things. But I did get a few new followers, and I made a few people smile for a few seconds, so I can think of worse ways to spend your time. It’s kind of like playing the lottery. No one seriously expects to win, but every now and then you get a few bucks. It’s the possibility of a greater reward that keeps you coming back.

Also, if they really do a spin-off, I want writing royalties for the concept. That would be winning the lottery.

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55 comments on “Wil Wheaton Blew Up My Twitter Account (or That’s Show Business)
  1. I Love this post! I got a retweet from Roseanne (another Chuck Lorre aquaintance) about a week after I started my twitter account, unfortunately, it didn’t get me any new followers or any mind blowing recognition like you got, but it still felt pretty cool. Like you, I love BBT. Still holding out hope that Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Chuck Lorre will come to the dark side and start tweeting.

    • I really didn’t get much besides bragging rights and some retweets, but hey, it’s still fun. Most people are surprised to learn that the guys from BBT are just actors and not huge nerds. I don’t know why this should be surprising; Clint Eastwood does not actually go around shooting people all day. Although, Chuck Norris will punch you in the face for five dollars, or so I’m told.

  2. Ahaha, that’s awesome..

    I’m still trying to understand Twitter… To me it seems like a mass text message service…

  3. workspousestory says:

    This is all kinds of awesome! BBT is my favourite sitcom ever.

    I’d die of happiness if I were you ;)

  4. Congratulations! That’s pretty cool what you did. But a show revolving around Wil Wheaton will have to involve more than just Star Trek fandom. Maybe have something where Wheaton finds himself living next door to a hot alien chick or something like that, and have the cast of TBBT show up every twelve episodes or so.

  5. mkultra76 says:

    I love this!! Congrats on F.P.! Oh, and the retwheaton, as well.

  6. That is cool! I don’t have Twitter (can’t seem to condense my point in a few words!), so I don’t get what all the hype is. However, being able to interact with your favourite celebrities is a def. perk. If only they had Twitter back when I was really into (i.e. obsessed) with the Backstreet Boys. I would have signed up in a heartbeat! :D……. Congrats on being FP (another claim to fame)!

  7. Thanks in advance for all the likes and comments I presume are coming now that I have been Freshly Pressed, and hello to any new followers. Achievement Unlocked!

  8. What is this Twitter? Should I get one, too? Please help me understand: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/should-i-get-a-twitter/

  9. skipper says:

    How do you make being a nerd sound so cool? I’ve been trying to do that for years ! Great story- really enjoyed it.

  10. segmation says:

    Since you have these tips on twitter do you have any tips on wordpress blogging?

  11. susielindau says:

    This is really funny! I wrote a funny story about Louie Vito that I blogged and he retweeted! Pretty cool when that happens.. the world becomes a lot smaller and celebrities become a little more human!
    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  12. I was browsing and say Wil Wheaton (Yes, I have to say both names too), and had to look. One of my favorite people and always has the funniest, and most down to earth tweets. <3

  13. The Waiting says:

    That is so cool that Wil Wheaton retweeted you AND that the post you wrote about it got Freshly Pressed! I think that at least bumps you to to a U-list celebrity. Once, I wrote a blog post where I mentioned how much I love LeVar Burton on Twitter, and the next day he was following me. I couldn’t believe it. I really love how Twitter makes the world a little smaller.

  14. I loved this episode and spent the commercial breaks explaining to my daughter all about Wil Wheaton’s career. Wil Wheaton and Sheldon Cooper – it was a nerd’s paradise. I was in heaven. :)

  15. You just have to say both names when talking about Wil Wheaton, otherwise how would everyone know which Wil you’re referring to?! Even though you lost access to your Ipad for a bit, it left you with your 15 minutes (or more) plus a great story to tell. Any story that involves any former Star Trek cast member is a great story!

    I just started using Twitter myself, but for purely selfish reasons. Not sure if I’m all that excited about it myself. I still feel like the nerd in the room who says weird, geeky stuff. But hey, I have 30 followers, which is better than a kick in the pants. I don’t believe I’m going to be stalking any celebrities any time soon.

    • I would suggest start following a few people you like. When they retweet or mention someone else, start following them. Eventually you’ll see there are whole conversations going on. If nothing else, people often post links to really cool stuff, so just find people with similar tastes.

  16. Synfidie says:

    I only recently started following any “famous people” (I think Wil Wheaton was the first one). My first attempt into getting into the “twittersphere” or whatever its called was not very successful. I followed Ellen Deneres and Brent Spiner. Ellen’s twitter was all advertisements for her show which pissed me off so badly that I wrote off twitter as one big advertisement.
    I rejoined this past year and so far it’s been better. I am not following Ellen, but am being a bit more picky with who I follow so I don’t hate them afterwards, lol.

    btw: “And if they’re not a complete douche canoe, ” <–that is hilarious phrasing

    • Yeah, some people see it as just a billboard for their current project. The trick is finding the people who see it as a community and participate in the discussion. Then, when they post a link to what they’re working on, you actually care, because they’ve taken the time to develop a relationship with their audience. Remember, you can always stop following someone. You don’t have to feel guilty about it.

  17. What a thrill to be retweeted like that! Congrats to you and for being Freshly Pressed.

    I did something similar — I tweeted to Kirstie Alley about one of the writers for “Cheers” (that writer was my graduation speaker) and she was gracious enough to respond. I appreciated that so much, that she took a few moments of her time to do that.

  18. And now you are on Freshly Pressed – I guess that makes you an X-list celebrity… ;)

  19. paulturner76 says:

    Reblogged this on Musings of a Mild Mannered Man and commented:
    Where do I sign for this petition? I really think a spin-off series for Will Wheaton from the Big Bang Theory is such a great idea…

  20. Jay Dee says:

    I’ve mentioned Wil Wheaton on twitter a couple of times, trying to be witty. Nothing yet. But hey, he does get a lot of attention on twitter, and I understand he is busy. It’s no big deal. But what if Wil posted on this blog post? :) Have you tried telling him?

    David Hasselhoff followed me last year. But I doubt he reads my tweets.

    • I don’t want to send a link to Wil Wheaton because that seems like shameless self-promotion to me, and I don’t want him to think I’m a dick. But of someone else were to send it…

      • Jay Dee says:

        Yeah, I see what you mean. Anyway, Wil Wheaton rules. So does Patrick Stewart. And LeVar Burton. And Michael Dorn. Not so sure about Jonathan Frakes. He didn’t sign autographs :)

  21. Shannon says:

    Reblogged this on C'est que c'est and commented:
    This is amazing. Fellow BBT and Wil Wheaton fans will enjoy.

  22. So happy someone else hates Two and a Half Men… I’ve tried to like it. I really have. But it is just NOT FUNNY.

    • Hackneyed plots, predictable dialogue, and corny (not in the good way) jokes. What’s not to love? Way to phone it in, guys.

      • It’s just confusingly bad. I mean, it’s confusing why they thought they could get away with making something so bad.

        Big Bang Theory, on the other hand, I could (and sometimes do) watch all night. And quote all day, even to people who haven’t seen it. One of the best ones is the Sheldon Knock: going up to a colleague’s desk, knocking three times quickly, saying their name. Repeat two or three times until they get really annoyed, or (if they’re also BBT fans) they start quoting Sheldon lines.


      • Because people watch it, and they can sell ad space. End of story. I hate to sound cynical but THAT is how the business really works. Blame the guy sitting next to you on the bus; if people demanded good television, they would make it. There is no excuse for bad writing with the kind of budget a show like that has.

  23. Joe Owens says:

    I find it interesting that you can actually interact with people who create our entertainment. I would think they have surrogates to handle all their media accounts such that one to one contact would never happen, but perhaps that is a wrong assumption. I suppose some investigation and experimentation is in order. Thanks for the information and idea.

    • For many I’m sure it’s not a lack of desire, but a lack of time. I’ve been having trouble keeping up with this blog for the past couple of days. I can only imagine the effort for someone with a huge following. It’s a full time job. There are those that let PR do their dirty work, but it is always so obvious. They’re not fooling anyone.

  24. Great post, I must admit I saw the title for this and went all Sheldon Cooper, “Hwill Hweathon” haha I really enjoyed this though, congrats on FP!

  25. daveinden says:

    Great post. It showcases one of my favorite things about the Internet, the spreading of information to millions of people. Be it news of a serious event or a hilarious picture information can go almost anywhere to anyone. Nice writeup.
    Plus, I would totally watch that show.

  26. iRuniBreathe says:

    retwheaton — hilarious!!
    Great points about Twitter and famous folk. Let’s lay low on the stalkering and be people to these “real” people.

  27. billlattpa says:

    That’s some good stuff there!! WHEATOOOONNNNNN!!!!

  28. Yay! One hundred likes. Thanks again everyone.

  29. Reb says:

    Wil Wheaton pretty much wins at the internet. He is awesome and is one of the few celebrities who really gets social media!

  30. Lilee says:

    I was having a good day one day and I tweeted something along the lines of, “Great day! The only that that could make this better is if @DavidPrice14 tweeted or followed me.” I’m a big TB Rays fan. About an hour later David tweeted me back and said, “How about if I tweet AND follow you? Hope you keep having a great day!” That was a fantastic feeling right there. Just fantastic.

  31. twylalalala says:

    And thus I have come to be a quick fan of your blog and your Twitter because damn it I love everything that has to do with Wil and Big Bang haha! Thanks for the wonderful ideas, I do hope Chuck Lorre is listening! LOL!

  32. Cool post – brings home to us just what social networking (and especially Twitter) is doing. We can talk to and be talked back to by people who even ten years ago we knew only through flying electrons on the screen or the magazines. And guess what – they’re real, normal humans just like we are.

    Big Bang has to be one of my favourite shows right now. Especially the Wheaton episodes – he obviously has a LOT of fun with them. Wonderful stuff.

  33. shoutabyss says:

    I bagged a celebrity once. Brent Spiner. Unfortunately he went for a DM and not a mention or a retweet so my iPad didn’t get slogged. It was still exciting, though, and I have the screenshot to prove it. I loves me some Brent Spiner!

    Grats on your creativity reaching spontaneous critical mass. :)

    • I wasn’t going to brag, but I’ve gotten three mentions from @feliciaday and four from @JeriLRyan. I never got any really famous to follow me though. Congratulations, all the TNG guys are awesome.

  34. only1chrisds says:

    Love the picture and the coundown to the end of the world!!!

  35. [...] Wil Wheaton Blew Up My Twitter Account (or That’s Show Business) (verbatimgibberish.com) [...]

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