Howard is played by actor Simon Helberg. The name Howard Wolowitz was given by Bill Prady, after his former business partner, a computer programmer. Bill describes Howard’s character as the perfect ‘Pepe Le Pew’, the Looney Tunes Skunk who was constantly chasing after girls.
Howard works as an aerospace engineer at Caltech, and has his own mechanical engineering lab. For most of the show he lived at home with his mother (although he prefers to say that his mother lives with him) in in Altadena, California, north of Pasadena. He later marries Bernadette Rostenkowski, and finally leaves home to live with her. Howard’s best friend is Raj Koothrappali. He and Raj spend a lot of their spare time together, and their relationship has an ‘old married couple’ vibe to it which prompts Leonard’s mother to say they are in an “ersatz homosexual marriage”. Howard and Raj are very close but Howard drops poor Raj like a hot brick at the slightest sign of any female interest.
Howard was born in 1981, between March and September. He, like the others, was teased as a child. He refers to receiving wedgies and swirlies from other children. His father left home when he was 11. We are not sure what happened in his parents’ relationship, but Howard has not heard from his father since, and has abandonment issues. We have yet to see his mother, Mrs Wolowitz (voiced by Carol Ann Susi) properly on screen. It can be assumed from the dialogue of the other characters that she is a morbidly obese, masculine looking woman who sports a moustache. Leonard apparently mistook her for Howard’s father upon their first meeting! Howard is Jewish, but does not practise his faith. He regularly eats pork and certainly has no issues regarding sex before marriage. Howard has stated that he would kill his rabbi with a pork chop if his religion was an impediment to dating! He does however observe Jewish High Holidays, as Sheldon has grumbled that he was unable to attend Halo night on such occasions. I guess his mum makes him go to these services.
Howard is the only one of the gang not to have a doctorate, and is sometimes teased because of this, especially by Sheldon who calls him a ‘space plumber’. Despite this, he has many career accomplishments, and was sent into space for a short time. His work usually involves fixing, designing or building things for N.A.S.A and the international space station. He was also part of the Mars rover project, and asked to work for the defence department on a laser-equipped surveillance satellite. Unfortunately, he was not chosen for this project as he failed to pass the security checks due to Sheldon talking about the Mars Rover crash to the investigating FBI agent.
Howard Wolowitz is based on Davy Jones from the Monkees (a sixties band that rivalled the Beatles for readers too young to remember them). He wears 60’s style clothing and has a big mop of hair. He always wears an alien pin, and has a vast collection of vintage-inspired belt buckles. Howard is allergic to peanuts, almonds and walnuts, all of which cause him to have a severe anaphylactic reaction. He is also asthmatic and has a family history of heart disease. He definitely fancies himself as a ladies man, and takes every opportunity to chat up women, being the king of one-liners such as “Yeah, well my people invented circumcision. You’re welcome.” (The Pork Chop Indeterminacy). He also attempts to impress the ladies with magic tricks, mirroring techniques, speaking in foreign languages, dressing up in tattoo sleeves to name but a few! Despite all this, Howard does not have much success with women, and is as Penny describes him ‘creepy’ and ‘disgusting’.
Howard reveals that he lost his virginity to his second cousin, Jeanie, at his Uncle’s funeral. He had a brief relationship with Penny’s friend, Christy Vanderbel, but was dumped by her after his mum threatened to cut him out of the will if the relationship continued. He then went on a date with a girl named Lisa, but we do not see her (The Lizard-Spock Expansion). Apparently, the date was not a success, as Howard apologises afterwards and offers a consoling meal of his mother’s brisket. It would seem that Lisa did not take him up on this offer. The next in line is Leslie Winkle, with whom Howard has a short ‘friends with benefits’ relationship. He finds himself falling in love with Leslie and becomes upset when she dumps him. He soon cheers up however, when Raj and Leonard take him to Vegas and hire him a prostitute.
Howard meets Bernadette through Penny, as Bernadette starts working at the Cheesecake Factory to pay her way through college. At first they don’t get on, but they soon realise that they have much in common, both with over-bearing mothers. The pair split up for a time, as Bernadette finds out that Howard has been having a cyber-space affair with Glacinda the Troll in World of Warcraft. Glacinda in reality turns out to be an over-weight male janitor at Caltech. Howard proposes to Bernadette twice before she finally accepts. They get married on the roof-top of Sheldon, Leonard and Penny’s apartment building, timing the ceremony to coincide with the Google earth satellite, so as to have the wedding photographed from space. The ceremony was conducted by Sheldon, Leonard, Penny, Raj and Amy who were all ordained as ministers. Bernadette’s parents and Howard’s mother were also in attendance, but off camera.
Howard Wolowitz Fun Facts:
- Howard is 3% body fat, and weighs 118lbs.
- Howard can interpret sign language
- He speaks many foreign languages including French, Mandarin, Russian, Persian, Arabic and Klingon.
- Howard is ¼”shorter than Leonard
- Howard drives a grey Mini Cooper, and previously a Vespa Scooter.
- His Belt buckle collection includes a Nintendo controller, a silver Batman logo, a 45 RPM record insert, a Klingon communicator and The Flash.
- He lost his virginity to his second cousin in the back of a Toyota Corolla.
- He regularly fantasises about Katee Sackhoff, and sometimes George Takei.
- He has mood lighting in his bedroom in the form of two light sabers.
- Howard wears silk pyjamas with the initials ‘HWJ’ embroidered on them.
- He considers himself a “tender-hearted poet” and “crazy daredevil”
- Howard knows, and has worked with, Stephen Hawking
- In World of Warcraft, he is a Knight Elf Hunter named Wolowizard.
- Wolowizard has a pet Tiger called Buttons.
- He is a Guardian, Sir Howard of Wolowitz, in Age of Conan.
- Howard calculates the probability of having sex using his own formula. This equation includes the ‘Wolowitz Coefficient’ which is ‘neediness times dress size squared’.
- Howard has tried to Kiss Penny, but she responded by punching him in the face.
- He is the Drummer on Rock Band.
- He went to Medical School for a short time before dropping out – he gets very nauseated at the sight of blood.
- He got his engineering degree at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- Howard is great at Dance Dance Revolution.
- Howard has a set of Leopard print sheets.
- Sheldon refers to Howard and other engineers as “the Oompa-Loompas of science”
- His fellow astronauts nick-name Howard ‘Fruit Loops’
- His Mother gave him an ALF doll to cheer him up after his father left.
- Howard has transient idiopathic arrhythmia, which basically means that he spontaneously develops an irregular heartbeat from time to time.
- Howard is a self-proclaimed Horny engineer, he never jokes about math or sex!