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I Love Lucy Makes the First Gay Joke in Sitcom History

Gayest Episode Ever

Release Date: 06/24/2020

We Finally Do Soap show art We Finally Do Soap

Gayest Episode Ever

Content warning: In discussing plotlines on Soap, we do bring up suicide and, very briefly, sexual assault. "Episode 4.1" (November 12, 1980) * Finally! It's one of the biggest cult favorite sitcoms of all time *and* it's also a show famous for having a LGBT character in the main cast. The only reason it's taken us this many years to tackle Soap is that it's so much more serialized than mostly anything else we cover, so while we focus on one particular episode, we're also discussing the entirety of Billy Crystal's gay character, Jodie Dallas. Good thing we have longtime Soap fan and...

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Who’s the Boss? Just Basically Admits That Jonathan Is Gay show art Who’s the Boss? Just Basically Admits That Jonathan Is Gay

Gayest Episode Ever

“Jonathan the Gymnast” (November 18, 1986) Technically, Who’s the Boss? never did a gay episode, but because Danny Pintauro’s sexuality looms large over this sitcom, many episodes seem a little gayer as a result — and this episode especially so. In it, Tony and Angela step into the kitchen to have a frank discussion of why Jonathan is not like other boys, and it really comes off like Who’s the Boss? is asking viewers to overlook this aspect of the character. It’s fucked up that this happened, and it’s one of several occurrences that make Drew utter the phrase “Poor...

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Wings Flies Its Gay Character Back to Nantucket show art Wings Flies Its Gay Character Back to Nantucket

Gayest Episode Ever

“Sons and Lovers” (January 16, 1996) This is an honest-to-God follow-up to , which was all about the series antagonist, Roy Biggins, finding out his son was gay. Five seasons later, someone at Wings thought to ask “Hey, what if that gay character didn’t cease to exist the moment that first episode ended?” This episode marks one of the few times that a one-off gay character actually got to return. And yeah, we’re re-joined by Massachusetts correspondent . It’s a real journey for us all. Check out our sponsor, ! And join our spaces for and . Watch of the attempted British remake...

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The Crew Was Fox’s Queer-Inclusive Alternative to Friends show art The Crew Was Fox’s Queer-Inclusive Alternative to Friends

Gayest Episode Ever

“The Man We Love” (June 30, 1996) Last week, we looked at Married… With Children’s take on an anti-Friends. This week, we decided to look at the last episode of a show that aired the previous season on Fox. While it was not designed as a response to Friends, it nonetheless managed to solve some of that show’s major problems. Namely, it’s racially diverse, there’s a queer character in the opening credits, and the characters actually work. It’s also funny, and having been co-created by writers who cut their teeth on The Golden Girls, that’s no surprise. What’s more, this show...

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Backdoor Pilots: Married… With Children Tries to Make the Anti-Friends show art Backdoor Pilots: Married… With Children Tries to Make the Anti-Friends

Gayest Episode Ever

“Enemies” (April 14, 1996) You may recall a late-series installment of Married… With Children that shifted focus away from the Bundys and onto an apartment of young sexy people who apparently despised each other. This was “Enemies,” a kinda-sorta send-up of Friends that never saw the light of day beyond this one episode. Our theory is that it was a reformatted spinoff that at one point was going to star Christina Applegate and that also features a guy who’s totally a stand-in for Matt Le Blanc. All of this is our take on what would be the Backdoor Pilots Patreon-only bonus podcast...

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Weirdest Episode Ever: Dick Van Dyke vs. Space Aliens show art Weirdest Episode Ever: Dick Van Dyke vs. Space Aliens

Gayest Episode Ever

“It May Look Like a Walnut” (February 6, 1963)   It’s not the first “weird” episode that a sitcom ever did, but it’s probably the most famous: the second-season installment of The Dick Van Dyke Show where it departed from the usual formula and became a sci-fi B-movie. It turns out to be a dream, of course, but you actually aren’t sure until the final moments, and it’s still one of the stranger sequences you’ll ever see on a mainstream sitcom.   This episode is not all that gay but it is the first of two pitches for our next Patreon-exclusive show. Should we do a...

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The Addams Family Considers Conversion Therapy show art The Addams Family Considers Conversion Therapy

Gayest Episode Ever

“Morticia and the Psychiatrist” (September 25, 1964) This year, we’re celebrating Halloween with one of the two most Halloween-tastic TV families of all time — and no worries, because we talk plenty about the other one too. Joining us to discuss the second episode of The Addams Family is , director of original series at Netflix, who shares some of his experience developing the new Addams Family reboot, Wednesday, and his lifelong relationship with the creepiest and kookiest family in sitcom history. Check out our sponsor, ! And join our spaces for and . Listen to Ted’s previous...

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Modern Family Meets a Gay Clown show art Modern Family Meets a Gay Clown

Gayest Episode Ever

“Fizbo” (November 25, 2009) People have been asking us to cover this show basically since we started the podcast, and so this week we finally decided to cover it… by looking into an episode no one wanted us to do. In our heads, the most interesting part of the show is Cam and Mitchell, and the most interesting part of Cam and Mitchell is Eric Stonestreet’s portrayal of Cam. He’s straight, but we say he delivers a nuanced character who both embraces and defies stereotypes. Also, he’s a clown, it turns out. Which may be appropriate, depending on your point of view. Check out our...

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Archie Bunker Goes to a Gay Bar show art Archie Bunker Goes to a Gay Bar

Gayest Episode Ever

“The Boys’ Night Out” (February 13, 1983) More than a hundred episodes later (of All in the Family but also of this podcast), we return to the Archie Bunker primary universe to find out if everyone's favorite bigot got over his homophobia. The answer: kind of? But that is probably just the result of season after season of broadcast TV sanding off his rougher edges. Check out our sponsor, ! And join our spaces for and . Listen to Drew talk Street Fighter II and Thrilling Tales of Old Video Games on the . Media of note:     Buy the new issue of Beyond Sunset . Go shop...

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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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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

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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)