Stephen Hawking can hold his own among physicists, sure. But he's also pretty comfortable going one-on-one with comedians.
Just check out this new interview between the celebrated cosmologist and John Oliver, host of the HBO series "Last Week Tonight."
In a segment called "People Who Think Good," Oliver asks Hawking to weigh in on everything from imaginary time to artificial intelligence. At one point, he acknowledges the research supporting the existence of parallel universes and then asks the physicist, "Does that mean that there is a universe out there where I am smarter than you?"
"Yes," Hawking says with his electronic voice. "And also a universe where you're funny."
Undeterred, Oliver asks if it's possible that somewhere there's a parallel universe in which his alter ego is dating actress Charlize Theron.
Hawking doesn't need time to think it over. "No," he says.
"It's completely beyond the bounds of scientific possibility is what you're saying?" Oliver asks.
Ouch. (Don't worry, John, we've all been there.)
Hawking isn't ruling much else out, though. From life on other planets to a future in which intelligent machines take over humanity, there's a lot that could be in the cards.