Television — both primetime and streaming-based — is jam-packed with spinoff after spinoff. Among the collection is The Big Bang Theory's prequel spinoff, Young Sheldon. Chuck Lorre and Steven Molaro's sitcom, which is blessedly void of a laugh track, follows the adventures of 9-year-old genius Sheldon Cooper (Iain Armitage) as he attends high school with his older brother in 1989. Those familiar with TBBT know Sheldon Cooper — exquisitely played by Jim Parsons — as the matter-of-fact theoretical physicist completely lacking people skills.
InYoung Sheldon's first season, rigid Texas Baptist mom Mary Cooper (Zoe Perry) caught Sheldon and his friends innocently playing Dungeons and Dragons. But because the iconic game involves magic, devils, and "monsters who don't wear pants," Mary was appalled. She immediately sent Sheldon to Sunday School. Not today, Satan.
Come Season 5, Pastor Jeff (Matt Hobby) brings in a youth pastor, hoping he'll better connect with the kiddos. TV addicts and moviegoers alike have probably seen the actor before.
Who plays the youth pastor on 'Young Sheldon'?
Youth Pastor Rob is assigned to help with Sunday School, as Pastor Jeff struggles to tell the stories of the Bible in an engaging, kid-friendly way. On the contrary, Youth Pastor Rob is a certified cool dude, and he gets how children's minds work. From dropping Bibles on the floor, to calling Judas his favorite apostle, to hearing kids out for questioning the Bible, Youth Pastor Rob just hits different. He's played by actor Dan Byrd.
Where have we seen Dan Byrd before?
Appearing in nostalgic cult-favorite films like 2004's A Cinderella Story and 2010's Easy A (the latter being much better than the former), Dan Byrd is a rom-com veteran. In the aforementioned movies, Dan played the sidekick friend alongside Hilary Duff and then Emma Stone, respectively.
The mid-2000s era of Dan's acting career also saw him play 17-year-old Bobby Carter in Alexandre Aja's The Hills Have Eyes remake in 2006, which received meh reviews. It was his second horror film, right after landing the lead in 2005's zombie movie Mortuary, which holds a dreadful Rotten Tomatoes audience score of 18 percent.
Arguably, Dan's most famous role to date was as Travis Cobb in the ABC-turned-TBS sitcom Cougar Town, which began in 2009 and starred Courteney Cox. Travis is the quick-witted son of divorced parents Jules (Courtenay) and Bobby Cobb (Brian Van Holt). As sons often do, Travis hated it when men hit on his mother. What can we say, Monica Geller's good looks have stayed intact.
In early 2011, he talked to PopSugar about the movie blunders forever stamped on his résumé. Fresh off of Easy A, he was asked if he'd pursue more films. "Yeah, if something cool came up, then I definitely would. I've been in a few movies that I really wish I hadn't been in, so to avoid doing that again. It's hard because it's sort of an age where there's not a lot of stuff out there. Not a lot of material, and the material there is skewed toward raunchy comedy," said Dan, who was 25 at the time.
We'll have to wait and see what Youth Pastor Rob (who was first introduced in Season 5, Episode 2) has in store. He's very much giving us "Hot Priest" in Fleabag. If you know, you know.
Season 5 episodes of Young Sheldon air Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. EST on CBS.