6 Memorable Cultural Moments Inspired by Stephen Hawking



The British professor Stephen Hawking in Cambridge in 2014, when he unveiled a formula to predict the chances of England succeeding in the soccer World Cup. Credit David Parry/Press Association, via Associated Press

Stephen Hawking, the acclaimed British theoretical physicist, died on Wednesday at 76. Best known for his groundbreaking work in cosmology, Mr. Hawking also had a significant influence on popular culture.

As his renown spread, movies were made about him, he made cameos on TV shows, and he inspired composers and songwriters. Here are some memorable cultural moments in which he featured.

‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’

Mr. Hawking appeared in an episode in 1993, in a scene in which Lieutenant Commander Data plays poker with Mr. Hawking, Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton. When Newton asks him what the point of the game is, Data says, “I was curious to see how three of history’s greatest minds would interact in this setting.”

‘Keep Talking’

Pink Floyd sampled Mr. Hawking’s voice on this track from the band’s 1994 album, “The Division Bell.” The sample was taken from a 1993 TV commercial for the British telephone company BT. Pink Floyd used another clip of Mr. Hawking’s synthesized voice from the ad in 2014 on the track “Talkin’ Hawkin’ ” on their final studio album “The Endless River.”

‘The Simpsons’

In 1999, Mr. Hawking made a cameo in the episode “They Saved Lisa’s Brain.” The characters are boasting about their I.Q.s when Mr. Hawking appears and says, “Big deal, my IQ is 280.” Mr. Hawking made three other appearances as himself on the show over the years, in the episodes “Don’t Fear the Roofer” (2005), “Stop or My Dog Will Shoot!” (2007) and “Elementary School Musical” (2010).

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