‘Big Bang Theory’ cast bids farewell at finale taping

Tears, hugs and speeches were plentiful on Tuesday night as the cast of “The Big Bang Theory” took their final bow at the last live taping of their long-running sitcom.

The feeling inside the stage where the comedy has made its home on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank was much like that of the last day of high school. Emotions were flowing as the cast and crew finished making 279 episodes of television together.

It hit some, well, like a big bang.

For the cast who posted about the final taping on Instagram, where the embargoes that prevent reporters in attendance from spilling too many details of the night or anything about the episode’s contents do not apply, the mood was clear: this end of an era has hit them all hard.

“Thank you for your words. Thank you for your encouragement. Thank you for tuning in night in and night out,” Kunal Nayyar wrote. “Thank you for the stories you shared about how this show made you feel. Thank you too, for the not so nice times. Thank you, for lifting us up when we were down.”

Nayyar, Johnny Galecki and Melissa Rauch all celebrated birthdays on the final day of filming.

Galecki and Nayyar share a birthday and Rauch’s is in June. She explained on Instagram that hers was celebrated on the final day of filming as they won’t be together by the time actual birthday comes around.

Rauch began appearing on the show in the third season. Not long after, she and Mayim Bialik’s Amy Farrah Fowler joined the main cast that already included Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco and Simon Helberg, forming an ensemble as strong as they come on television comedies.

“As we get ready to tape our final episode tonight, to walk in and out of this apartment door for the last time, it is hard to find the words to articulate what a profound experience this has been,” Parsons wrote on Instagram ahead of the taping. “But the words “love” and “gratitude” come to mind… so love and gratitude to all of you. ALL of you. Thank you.”

On Tuesday, the cast filmed the second part of what will be a one-hour farewell episode. It airs May 16.