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Gayest Episode Ever

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Gayest Episode Ever

Drew Mackie & Glen Lakin / TableCakes Productions

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Back in the day, a major sitcom doing a gay episode was a big deal. A proper gay episode would get headlines, but it would get the attention of two young guys who were still figuring things out — sexuality-wise and culture-wise. Gayest Episode Ever has screenwriter Glen Lakin and stay-at-home journalist Drew Mackie going through the great and not-so-great gay episodes of sitcoms past.
 
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“There Is Nothing Like the Dames” (February 17, 1990) Believe it or not, Mama’s Family has a deeply queer history. While the final result of it — the syndicated revival that returned to TV after NBC canceled the it — bears little of that, this episode goes over all the ways a recurring sketch on The Carol Burnett Show originally told the story of a…
 
“Cougars” (November 29, 2007) As comedically successful as it might be, 30 Rock is a very straight show. That’s why our best pick for a queer episode is one where the sexually interesting narrative is the C plot and it ends with Judah Friedlander’s Frank convincing himself he can’t like guys because he doesn’t fit prescribed definition of gay. This…
 
“Stealing Nikki” (November 26, 2000) Go figure: It’s our longest episode yet, and it’s about a show you might not even remember! We were fortunate enough to get Talking Simpsons co-host Henry Gilbert back for a second go-around, and we decided to make use of his encyclopedic knowledge of professional wrestling. Lucky for us, there is in fact a sitc…
 
“My Hair Lady” (February 15, 2004) Welcome to season six of Gayest Episode Ever! True, season don’t really mean anything on this kind of podcast, but we are back from our summer hiatus and we’re super eager to get back into talking sitcom queerness. We’re kicking off this season with our fourth look at King of the Hill. It’s an interesting one in t…
 
Hi. This is the fourth and final installment of our summer rerun series wherein we send out old episodes that we think are good but perhaps didn’t get all the attention they should have. This Wings episode is actually our least-listened-to episode, and we’re pretty sure that is a result of Drew naming it originally “Roy Biggins Has a Big Gay Son.” …
 
It's another summer rerun! This time, of our 17th episode, which never really pulled in the numbers we thought it should. We swear it doesn't suck! “Lez Be Friends” (April 28, 1997) For many kids watching sitcoms in the 90s, Amanda Bearse would have been one of the first actors they would have known to be openly gay. That’s what makes this episode …
 
This is a summer rerun of an episode that originally aired July 30, 2018. We're posting not only because Harley and Ivy went from subtextual lovers to full on romantic partners on the HBO Max series but also because we've got a new Batman: TAS episode of Cartoons That Made Us Gay, which you can listen to here. Excuse the echo! It was 2018 and we di…
 
“Phil’s Assertion School (September 23, 1977) Sanford Arms was NBC’s attempt to continue the world of Sanford and Son without either Sanford or the Son. It didn’t work, and of the eight episodes produced, only four ever aired. That said, it’s second ever installment not only introduced a gay character but also it became the first black cast sitcom …
 
It's our first-ever summer rerun! And we're doing this one in preparation for a full-length, main feed bonus episode next week, where we're talking about Sanford Arms, the sequel series to Sanford and Sun. Enjoy! “Lamont, Is That You?” (October 19, 1973) Norman Lear for the win! This podcast probably won’t go in depth on ’90s classics like Fresh Pr…
 
“Roomie for Improvement” (November 4, 1992) Al Borland is not gay. This episode makes a point of saying that he is a heterosexual, despite how many of his (comparatively) immasculine qualities might indicate otherwise. However for some, Richard Karn’s sensitive flannel man is an example of a kind of guy some of us would grow up to like and some of …
 
“A Fine Friendship” (February 6, 1995) One hundred episodes later, we return to The Nanny to find out what happens when Fran Fine mistakes a straight guy for a gay guy. This episode essnetially works as an inverse to the first Nanny episode we covered, right down to Fran being horrified by a gay-seeming person being straight rather than delighted b…
 
“Halloween” (October 30, 1996) Considering that every other major Must See TV sitcom did at least one gay episode, it’s surprising that NewsRadio didn’t — especially when you consider the fact that its lead actor, Dave Foley, jumped straight to NBC from Kids in the Hall, which experimented with gender and sexuality a lot more freely. This episode w…
 
“Game Night” (December 12, 2017) Right off the top of the bat, we need to admit that yes, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a show about cops. There’s no getting around that. We try our best to discuss how to weight its copaganda status against every other aspect of the show, and while we’re not going to try to sell anyone on this show, we will say that dismis…
 
“A Fish Called Selma” (March 24, 1996) In this episode, The Simpsons send up the glass closets of Hollywood and what some actors are willing to do to pass for “normal.” Troy McClure explicitly says he’s not gay, but the way the industry treats him for not fitting the leading man mold and what he does to find success anyway parallels what a lot of g…
 
“Janet(s)” (December 6, 2018) Spoiler warning: We totally spoil The Good Place, so if you have not seen it and want to go in fresh, go do that! It seems weird that The Good Place was a show on a broadcast network at all, much less one that ran for four seasons and gave viewers so much to think about. Perhaps one of the more surprising aspects was D…
 
It’s our 150th episode, and we’ve decided to celebrate this milestone with something different: a hot takes episode, where we share our pop culture hot takes and we also share hot takes submitted from our listeners. Disclaimer: we cannot guarantee that you will find all takes equally hot, nor can we guarantee that you will find this episode to be s…
 
“A Real Guy’s Guy” (October 25,1991) Hear us out here: Coach is a good sitcom even if you don’t like football. In fact, Drew likes Coach even though he actively despises football. This fourth-season episode has Craig T. Nelson’s character reacting to news that one of his players is gay, and it’s actually pretty flawless in terms of what a gay episo…
 
“And Baby Makes Four” (November 3, 2003) Before she was the literal mom on Blackish, Tracee Ellis Ross was the glue holding the figurative family together for eight seasons on Girlfriends. Drew and Glen are joined by Jennifer Eden to discuss why Ross is maybe one of the better examples of showbiz royalty and why this episode of TV is unique in offe…
 
“#001” (September 20, 1982) Look, Madame’s Place wasn’t a good sitcom, but it was the gayest puppet-focused sitcom and also a contender for one of the first gay sitcoms, on account of its draggy sensibility and the fact that the man behind Madame was one of the first openly gay entertainers. Drew and Glen discuss how weird this show is, including t…
 
“Betrayal” (September 13, 1989) You might classify Just the Ten of Us with rest of the TGIF also-rans, but trust us: this show was better — funnier, edgier and with two actual, explicit gay jokes that ran on the same night as Urkel, to say nothing of the fact that its four sexy teenage daughters gave little gay boys a favorite no matter what kind o…
 
“World’s Greatest Dick” (November 10, 1996) Sally Solomon is a straight, cis character, but for the first two seasons of the 3rd Rock from the Sun, there was this queer or trans aura around her. This episode dispels it, for the most part, and allows the writers to craft storylines and jokes that are no longer different versions of the “man trapped …
 
“Luann Virgin 2.0” (March 11, 2001) We’re very happy to return to Arlen, Texas, to discuss a King of the Hill episode that has a small gay subplot: Peggy technically lost her virginity before she met Hank to a friend who needed to figure out if he was gay. However, in having that thread introduce a discussion of what’s reason enough for good, red-b…
 
Yes, we said there was no episode this week, but then we realized that we had all these bonus episodes just lying around on Patreon, so here is one of those. BTW, listen to more queer readings of old cartoons here for just $1 a month. “The Mirror” (September 11, 1995) It is technically possible that someone could have watched Gargoyles and not real…
 
“Gay Witch Hunt” (September 21, 2006) Whelp, you asked enough so we finally did it: we covered The Office, despite the fact that its entire series run came and went during the age of online recaps and extensive online coverage. This is one of the most requested episodes we've gotten since we began this podcast. It’s up to you to decide what we can …
 
“Love Letters to Sarge” (January 29, 1965) Not only is this the only installment of a podcast that will explain the gay history of Gomer Pyle and the man who played him, but also it’s the only discussion of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C to feature relevant clips from both The Simpsons and Sailor Moon, because that’s the kind of show this is. Special thanks t…
 
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