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Mr. Belvedere Discourages a Teen from Being Gay

Gayest Episode Ever

Release Date: 07/29/2020

Superstore Is Queerer Than You Think show art Superstore Is Queerer Than You Think

Gayest Episode Ever

Superstore, “Gender Reveal” (April 12, 2018) — Karen Tongson, chair of the Gender and Sexuality Studies department at USC and the co-host of the Gen X pop culture podcast Waiting to X-Hale, joins Drew and Glen to discuss Superstore, the NBC ensemble comedy. Not only does it have a queer Asian lead character, but as Karen points out, there’s a lot of ambient queerness on the show, in addition to one of the more diverse casts on a sitcom today.

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Mr. Belvedere Discourages a Teen from Being Gay show art Mr. Belvedere Discourages a Teen from Being Gay

Gayest Episode Ever

“The Competition” (February 13, 1987) — Thanks to two different listers who politely exposed our ignorance, this week you are getting Drew and Glen talking about the one where Heather convinces her boyfriend he’s gay and Mr. Belvedere convinces him he’s not. It’s a weird bit of TV, but it’s also one of the very few family-focused sitcoms of this era to actually acknowledge that gay people exist.

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M*A*S*H Saves a Gay show art M*A*S*H Saves a Gay

Gayest Episode Ever

“George” (February 16, 1974) — And finally we arrive at the show that back when we were kids was what informed us that the kids’ block of syndicated TV had been turned over to the grown-ups. Now grown-ups ourselves (sorta, kinda), we still can’t get into M*A*S*H, but regardless of our personal feelings we weigh in on why this show was important, even if this second-season gay-themed episode gets a B/B minus. Apologies to the M*A*S*H diehards out there.

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Roc Has a Gay Uncle show art Roc Has a Gay Uncle

Gayest Episode Ever

Roc, “Can’t Help Loving That Man” (October 20, 1991) — Looking at the various 90s-era Fox shows that focused on black characters, Roc was the one with the reputation for tackling social issues with the most gravitas. Early in the show’s run, Richard Roundtree — Shaft himself! — guested as the title character’s uncle, who comes bearing the news that 1) he’s gay; 2) he’s getting married; and 3) his beloved is a white man.

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Too Close for Comfort Does an Episode About Male Rape show art Too Close for Comfort Does an Episode About Male Rape

Gayest Episode Ever

This week, we’re not talking about an explicitly LGBT-focused episode of TV. No, we’re talking about the episode of Too Close for Comfort in which a male character, Monroe, is sexually assaulted by two women. This episode serves as a bizarre example of not just how a sitcom can handle a sensitive topic but also how some actors’ offscreen sexuality can color the way their performance is received and even how their characters get written.

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I Love Lucy Makes the First Gay Joke in Sitcom History show art I Love Lucy Makes the First Gay Joke in Sitcom History

Gayest Episode Ever

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.

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GEE TV show art GEE TV

Gayest Episode Ever

GEE TV is a weird little art project that Drew felt compelled to do. It’s six 80s-era NBC sitcoms in a three-hour block, complete with of-the-era commercials. In order: Silver Spoons, The Facts of Life, Gimme a Break, 227, Empty Nest and Night Court. Hit the audio to hear Drew explain it all to Glen, who’s being a good sport about this.

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WKRP LGBTQ+ show art WKRP LGBTQ+

Gayest Episode Ever

For reasons we can’t imagine, WKRP in Cincinnati decided its third episode should feature a trans-themed B plot alongside an A plot about one of the characters contemplating suicide because people think he’s gay. It’s a lot. And while that plot synopsis might seem like a recipe for disaster, this one is funnier and more progressive than you might expect.

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American Dad Steals a Gay Couple’s Baby show art American Dad Steals a Gay Couple’s Baby

Gayest Episode Ever

Okay, hear us out. Some of you may be surprised that we’re doing American Dad or that Glen and Drew are both fans of it. We put forward the case that it’s a different sort of show than Family Guy is. This episode follows a previous gay-themed installment, and it demonstrates how bringing a homophobe around to respecting queer people as equals isn’t a one-and-done thing; it’s a continual process, and lots of people who think they’re tolerant need to realize when their tolerance has limits.

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Herman’s Head Meets a Lesbian show art Herman’s Head Meets a Lesbian

Gayest Episode Ever

At long last, we’re finally talking about the series that you’ve been dying to hear about… if your name is Drew or Glen. Yeah, we both have memories of liking Herman’s Head. And while its one gay episode does some things right and some things wrong, it’s the first sitcom we’ve discussed that tackles the complicated issue of being queer and also being a parent. It also allows us to talk about all the crazy stuff happening on Fox back in the early 90s.

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More Episodes

“The Competition” (February 13, 1987)

Yes, we did do an episode last year in which we summed up Mr. Belvedere are a whole and said it never did an outright gay episode. We were wrong, and thanks to two different listers who politely exposed our ignorance, this week you are getting Drew and Glen talking about the one where Heather convinces her boyfriend he’s gay and Mr. Belvedere convinces him he’s not. It’s a weird bit of TV, but it’s also one of the very few family-focused sitcoms of this era to actually acknowledge that gay people exist.

Also you can listen to the previous Mr. Belvedere outing, but also maybe don’t because this one is good enough to just replace the original?

Christopher Hewett stars as King Koopa in Super Mario Bros. on Ice.

Watch GEE TV to see the episode of 227 with Pee-Wee Herman.

Enjoy the opening credits to Land of the Giants.

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Buy Glen’s movie, Being Frank.

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This episode’s outro theme is “Balla Balla Ballerina” by Tony Manero, which isn’t on any of the music streaming services or digital music stores, as near as Drew can find, so just listen to it on YouTube, I guess?