The Big Bang Theory

Mike Rostenkowski

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Mike Rostenkowski
Police officer, retired
Series Information
First episode
Portrayed by

Mike Rostenkowski[1] is a retired police officer and the father of Bernadette Maryann Rostenkowski-Wolowitz, as well as several younger children and the father-in-law of Howard Wolowitz. His first appearance was in "The Launch Acceleration." He is portrayed by actor Casey Sander.


Before he was first seen, Bernadette warned Howard not to mention Jimmy Carter, gardeners, foreigners, homosexuals, Sean Penn, Vatican II, organic food, gun control, recycling, or Howard's Jewish heritage, indicating that he is far-right-wing.

Overall, Mr. Rostenkowski is a hardened police officer, who has a rough and rude personality, and often bullies others. He admitted to Howard that he does not like him, but is impressed with him being an astronaut. He appears to have a soft spot for Bernadette, calling her his "little girl." He has called Howard's mother a "piece of work" and pointed out that she had an even bigger mustache than him. He mentioned that his former partner was shot and killed by his partner's insane wife.

He doesn't seem to care about Howard, despite the fact that he's his son-in-law. His respect for Howard grew; however, when he learned Howard had been selected to become an astronaut. When Howard told him of his terror of going to space, Mr. Rostenkowski said "It's gonna be okay, son. A pretty girl like Bernadette... She'll find a new guy."


Mike with Howard.

He appears to be incredibly strong, since he was seen cracking walnuts with his bare hands in "The Launch Acceleration."

In "The Fish Guts Displacement," Howard and Bernadette are having dinner at her parents. Howard and Mike get pushed into a fishing weekend by their spouses and it turns out neither of them want to go. Mike suggests that they go to a casino to shoot craps. They bond somewhat and he tells Howard to call him Mike and no longer "Sir". In this episode, he reveals that he likes to use big shells while duck hunting so that they explode: " you can't eat them afterwards, but it's fun watching them blow up."

In "The Thanksgiving Decoupling," his wife is out of town and Bernadette gets him to come to Howard's mother's house for Thanksgiving dinner though he would rather watch football at home. Since Sheldon knew football thanks to his father and had lost his father, Mike and Sheldon Cooper bond and get drunk together.

In "The Table Polarization," he, Bernadette, Raj and Mike Massimino (via web chat) perform an intervention on Howard's decision to go back to space (Mike had to be prodded by Bernadette to agree about loving him). He mentioned that Howard asked him to shoot him in the foot, at which Howard insisted was a joke.



  • He is one of the three fathers of the main characters who have physically appeared on the show; the others being Raj's father V.M. Koothrappali and Penny's father Wyatt. (Leonard's father is only mentioned, Sheldon's is dead, Howard's left him at age 11, Amy's has never been seen or mentioned and Stuart's is only mentioned).


  • Mike.
  • Dinner with his in-laws.
  • Going fishing with Mike.
  • Trying to converse with his father-in-law.
  • Looking at an old homicide case.
  • Mike and Sheldon toasting his late father.
  • Mike offering Sheldon a beer after discussing football together.
  • Thanksgiving football.
  • Howard, Mike and Bernie on Thanksgiving.
  • Amy gets smacked.
  • Amy gets some appreciation old world style.
  • Bernadette's father.


  1. first name revealed in The Fish Guts Displacement

v · e · d
Characters, Cast & Crew
Characters Main Leonard Hofstadter  ‧  Sheldon Cooper  ‧  Penny  ‧  Howard Wolowitz  ‧  Rajesh Koothrappali  ‧  Amy Farrah Fowler  ‧  Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz    Stuart Bloom  ‧  Leslie Winkle    The Social Group
Recurring Mrs. Wolowitz  ‧  Barry Kripke  ‧  Priya Koothrappali  ‧  Dr. V. M. Koothrappali  ‧  Mrs. Koothrappali  ‧  Lucy  ‧  Mrs. Mary Cooper  ‧  Zack Johnson  ‧  Dr. Beverly Hofstadter  ‧  Mike Rostenkowski  ‧  Emily Sweeney  ‧  Alex Jensen  ‧  Professor Proton  ‧  Althea  ‧  Cinnamon
Cast Regulars Johnny Galecki  ‧  Jim Parsons  ‧  Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting  ‧  Simon Helberg  ‧  Kunal Nayyar  ‧  Mayim Bialik  ‧  Melissa Rauch  ‧  Kevin Sussman  ‧  Sara Gilbert  ‧  Carol Ann Susi  ‧  John Ross Bowie
As Selves Wil Wheaton  ‧  Mike Massimino  ‧  Stephen Hawking  ‧  Katee Sackhoff  ‧ Steve Wozniak  ‧ Buzz Aldrin  ‧ Summer Glau  ‧ James Earl Jones  ‧ Carrie Fisher  ‧ Brent Spiner  ‧ Bill Nye  ‧ George Smoot  ‧ George Takei  ‧ LeVar Burton  ‧ Neil deGrasse Tyson  ‧ Brian Greene  ‧ Charlie Sheen  ‧ Stan Lee
Crew Writers Chuck Lorre * (Creator)  ‧  Bill Prady * (Creator)  ‧  Steven Molaro *  ‧  Steve Holland *  ‧  Maria Ferrari *  ‧  Jim Reynolds *  ‧  Eric Kaplan *  ‧  Anthony Del Broccolo  ‧  Lee Aronsohn *  ‧  Dave Goetsch *  ‧  Tara Hernandez  ‧  Richard Rosenstock *
Directors Mark Cendrowski  ‧  Peter Chakos * (mainly as Editor)  ‧  Anthony Rich  ‧  James Burrows
Science consultant : David Saltzberg Director of photography : Steven V. Silver
Costume designer : Mary T. Quigley * Unit production manager : Kelly-Anne Lee *
Theme composer / performer : Barenaked Ladies Chuck Lorre Productions
also as Producer The Big Bang Theory : Full cast & crew on IMDb

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