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I Love Lucy Makes the First Gay Joke in Sitcom History

Gayest Episode Ever

Release Date: 06/24/2020

Mama’s Family Never Did a Gay Episode show art Mama’s Family Never Did a Gay Episode

Gayest Episode Ever

“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 — 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 queer-coded artist who can’t relate to his family back home. It’s all the stranger to consider that Mama’s Family never did an explicitly queer episode, even with all those Bob Mackie costumes. Check out our sponsor, ! And join our...

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30 Rock Questions Its Sexuality show art 30 Rock Questions Its Sexuality

Gayest Episode Ever

“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 episode is ultimately harmless but indicative of some traps later Tina Fey efforts would fall into. But hey — it’s got “Muffin Top.” Check out our sponsor, ! And join our spaces for and . Buy the new issue of Beyond Sunset ....

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Nikki Explores the Gay Side of Pro Wrestling show art Nikki Explores the Gay Side of Pro Wrestling

Gayest Episode Ever

“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 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 sitcom that discusses pro wrestling and queerness in the same context, and it’s Nikki Cox two-season comedy series, which could not be more early 2000s. Even better? It aired on The WB, which allows us to discuss that netlet’s role in TV history. Listen...

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Bill Dauterive Is Gay for Pay show art Bill Dauterive Is Gay for Pay

Gayest Episode Ever

“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 that it has (presumably) straight writer Wyatt Cenac telling a story about Bill pretending to be gay, yet it’s pretty well done, in that both Glen and Drew walked away not being offended or annoyed by anything Bill says or wears. This is...

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Wings Meets a Gay show art Wings Meets a Gay

Gayest Episode Ever

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.” We’re betting that forefronting the fact that it’s Wings will help more people listen to it, because you’re more likely to know what Wings is than you are to remember who Roy Biggins was. Either way, this is an episode we will be...

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Married With Children Lets Its Out Star Play Gay show art Married With Children Lets Its Out Star Play Gay

Gayest Episode Ever

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 so special. She’d put in her time on Married… With Children season after season, playing Al Bundy’s sparring partner, Marcy D’Arcy. So it’s sweet that toward the end of the series, she got to play Marcy’s cousin Mandy, who is so...

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Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy Are Domestic Partners show art Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy Are Domestic Partners

Gayest Episode Ever

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 . Excuse the echo! It was 2018 and we didn't know better! "Harley and Ivy" (January 18, 1993) In GEE’s first bonus episode, Glen and Drew focus on something that's not a sitcom but is nonetheless pretty damn gay — the Batman: The Animated Series installment that put a lesbianish aura...

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Sanford Arms Meets a Gay — And He’s Black! show art Sanford Arms Meets a Gay — And He’s Black!

Gayest Episode Ever

“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 to ever do a gay episode with an out gay person of color. So while this attempt at a Sanford spinoff didn’t work, it still landed its place in history. We’re joined again by to discuss. Buy Alfred’s book, . Listen to . Watch this...

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Sanford Thinks His Son Is Gay (And Vice-Versa) show art Sanford Thinks His Son Is Gay (And Vice-Versa)

Gayest Episode Ever

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 Prince of Bel-Air, Family Matters or A Different World because many black sitcoms of that era didn’t do gay episodes. Back in 1973, Sanford and Son did, however, and the result is classier and more interesting than what you’d see on shows...

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Al Borland Is a Model for the Modern American Gay Bear show art Al Borland Is a Model for the Modern American Gay Bear

Gayest Episode Ever

“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 us would grow up to be: big, bearded, and free to be ourselves regardless of where on the gender spectrum we ended up being. joins Drew and Glen to discuss Home Improvement, one of the most successful shows this podcast has examined so far —...

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More Episodes

“Lucy Thinks Ricky Is Trying to Murder Her” (November 5, 1951)

Can we do a whole 52-minute episode that is essentially about one single joke? Hell yes we can. The fourth episode of I Love Lucy sure seems like it might feature the first gay joke in the history of sitcoms. And although we are open to arguments otherwise, it’s nonetheless interesting to think that the show that wouldn’t allow its married leads to share a bed onscreen would slip even a small gay joke past the network censors.

Visit our new Tee Public store and plaster your body and household with the Gayest Episode Ever logo.

The Boy Culture blog’s excellent timeline of LGBT milestones on TV.

The 1980 People magazine interview where Lucy says she’s down with the gays.

The Washington Blade article on Lucy Ricardo’s appeal to gay men.

A compilation of Frank “That Guy Who Says Yes” Nelson saying yes.

And if you want to listen to us debate whether the Dick Van Dyke Show ever made a semen joke, listen to that episode here.

Buy Glen’s movie, Being Frank.

Watch Drew’s weird video art project, GEE TV.

Support us on Patreon!

Follow: GEE on TwitterDrew on TwitterGlen on Twitter

Buy Glen’s movie, Being Frank.

Support us on Patreon!

Follow: GEE on TwitterDrew on TwitterGlen on Twitter

Listen: iTunesSpotifyStitcher Google PlayGoogle Podcasts Himalaya TuneInSoundCloud

And yes, we do have an official website! And we even have episode transcripts courtesy of Sarah Neal. Our logo was designed by Rob Wilson.

This is a TableCakes podcast.

This episode’s outro theme is “Slice Me Nice” by Fancy (Apple Music / Spotify / Amazon Music)