Melissa Rauch Transformation Picture for The Big Bang Theory

The pair hardly hit it off, with Howard offering crude jokes and questions about her interests and Bernadette indifferently swatting each one away. But then, at dinner, they suddenly bonded over — of all things — their meddling mothers. A spark was kindled, and a recurring role was born. Shocked viewers realized the graceless (but admittedly loveable) Howard had finally found his perfect match. And the romance, which would lead to marriage in Season 5, came as a surprise to Rauch. “I was so grateful when ‘Big Bang’ happened,” she told Backstage. “[I] was supposed to be a one-time guest star!”

Rauch cracked up her class – by dropping F-bombs.

From her first awkward car ride with Howard, Rauch created a character that set Bernadette apart as intelligent, cute, and quick-witted. But if there are one trait fans can’t forget about her, it’s her chirpy, childish voice. Who talks like that? Rauch’s mother. “My mother sounds very similar to Bernadette,” Rauch told TV Insider. “She’s got a very high-pitched voice except with a New Jersey accent, and I grew up imitating her.”

She had a comedy club-themed bat mitzvah.

As Melissa Rauch got older, her interest in performing comedy and getting onstage grew stronger. She also found more appropriate outlets to express herself. She spent most of her free time doing community theater, attending theater camp and making up shows in her basement with her brother, Ben. Raised Jewish, it made sense that Rauch even had a comedy club-themed bat mitzvah when she was a young teen.

She started with stand-up.

After graduating high school, Melissa Rauch went to Marymount Manhattan College to study acting (via Inside Jersey). There, she encountered more great teachers. One, in particular, helped her with voice work, so her New Jersey accent wouldn’t be quite so strong. Others taught her how to build on her natural ability to create characters.

Rauch worked her a** off.

As if she wasn’t working hard enough, Rauch also started writing with a partner, college friend Winston Beigel. “We met freshman year of college, and we talked about our shared love of comedy,” she told RogerEbert.com. “I was doing stand-up, and he came to watch my set. We decided that we should write some sketches together because we have a very similar sensibility and our favorite thing to do is make each other laugh.”

Rauch wrote her own success story.

She already knew how to write a stand-up set, so subsequent, Melissa Rauch started writing solo shows and “performing them anywhere that would have me — burger joints, Laundromats, wherever. Just knowing I could do that at night made it easier waiting tables all day,” she said Inside New Jersey.

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