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I Love Lucy Makes the First Gay Joke in Sitcom History

Gayest Episode Ever

Release Date: 06/24/2020

Jerri Blank is a Pansexual Sex Predator show art Jerri Blank is a Pansexual Sex Predator

Gayest Episode Ever

“Blank Relay” (August 13, 2000) Honestly, we could have picked just about any episode of Strangers With Candy to focus on for this podcast about queer themes, but we ended up deciding on the one where we see Jerri Blank at her most girl hungry. It’s light on Mr. Noblet and Mr. Jellineck, but we can always circle back to this one in another two hundred episodes, right? Watch the Exit 57 ” sketch, which does not translate especially well to an audio-only format. Watch , the 1970 PSA featuring Florrie Fisher, the real-life inspiration for Jerri Blank. Listen to of the Unexplained...

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Gimme a Break Transformed Into a Lesbian Perfect Strangers show art Gimme a Break Transformed Into a Lesbian Perfect Strangers

Gayest Episode Ever

“Joey’s First Crush” (January 28, 1987) Few other shows changed as much as Gimme a Break, which began as a fish-out-of-water sitcom that had Nell Carter playing mom to three white girls in California but ended up with Nell and her best friend, Telma Hopkins’ Addy, co-parenting two white boys in New York. Minus the kids, it’s basically a female-female twist on Perfect Strangers, only they don’t get steady boyfriends. Perhaps in an effort to make the show seem less gay, they tossed in a happily married character… who was played by newcomer Rosie O’Donnell. This episode, which is...

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The Simpsons Does a Riff on Lesbian Cult Classic show art The Simpsons Does a Riff on Lesbian Cult Classic

Gayest Episode Ever

“Lisa the Drama Queen” (January 25, 2009) So here’s an interesting one. In its twentieth season, The Simpson did an episode inspired by Heavenly Creatures, the 1994 Peter Jackson movie that has Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey playing schoolgirls who flee into a fantasy world and also each other. More than a decade later, this story would play out again, only with Lisa Simpson and a new character voiced by Emily Blunt, and that might seem like a strange combo, especially because the Simpson version nixes the sex and violence of the original, but it nonetheless works. Special thanks to...

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How Does a Conservative Sitcom Do a Gay Episode? show art How Does a Conservative Sitcom Do a Gay Episode?

Gayest Episode Ever

“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (November 29, 2011 Yes, Tim Allen’s follow-up to Home Improvement got branded as the most conservative sitcom on network TV, but is that fair? We’re honestly not sure, because the ninth episode of Last Man Standing’s first season features a gay couple. We’re mostly good with how this plays out, but we also think this show changed in its second season. We’re also skimming over the second-season episode “Bullying,” which ended up arguing that it’s okay to say “gay.” Key takeaway: Tim Allen may be less conservative than Kelsey Grammer....

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The Gay Origins of Mister Ed show art The Gay Origins of Mister Ed

Gayest Episode Ever

“Sorority House” (February 8, 1961) A few times on this podcast, we’ve bent over backwards to find a gay interpretation of a sitcom that never did anything gay, but this is not one of those. Mister Ed was developed by Arthur Lubin, a closeted gay director who was married to a woman but eventually ended up cohabitating with a male companion. It’s interesting, then, that he’d be into making a TV show out of a story about Wilbur Post, who’s married to a woman and who’s outwardly a traditional guy even if his most significant relationship is with a male — a horse, but a male...

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Frasier Has Two Daddies show art Frasier Has Two Daddies

Gayest Episode Ever

“Fathers and Sons” (May 3, 2003) And we’re back! Our first regular episode of the new year returns to the first-ever show we discussed: Frasier. It’s the episode where David Ogden Stiers plays an old colleague of Frasier’s late mother who acts more like Frasier and Niles than Martin does. This is the final time the series put a spotlight on the series innate queerness, and in selecting Stiers, it also tacitly endorses the notion that his M*A*S*H character helped inspire Frasier Crane. Listen to , Josh Hallmark’s new true crime podcast about serial murders in Tampa’s gay...

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Sailor Moon Meets a Lesbian Couple show art Sailor Moon Meets a Lesbian Couple

Gayest Episode Ever

“Coldhearted Uranus: Makoto in Danger” (May 14, 1994) It’s a new year, and we’re giving you a new episode of Sailor Moon — now with 200 percent more lesbian content! This third-season episode not only showcases Haruka/Sailor Uranus and Michiru/Sailor Neptune, but also uses them as a way to explore how Makoto/Sailor Jupiter is the most queer-coded of the core five Sailor Guardians. What’s most notable about this episode, however, is the fact that the Viz dub of it actually re-writes the original Japanese dialogue to seem less homophobic than the original version was. Read Drew’s ...

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Bob’s Burgers Celebrates Christmas at a Gay Rave show art Bob’s Burgers Celebrates Christmas at a Gay Rave

Gayest Episode Ever

“The Bleakening” (December 10, 2017) We’re closing out 2023 with a two-part Bob’s Burgers Christmas mystery that also happens to be the last episode a cult favorite trans character, Marshmallow, appeared in before vanishing from the series for six years. This is basically our way of discussing the “Sheesh! Cab, Bob?” episode without having to drag you all through it, because for all its flaws, it did give the world the cherished treasure that is Marshmallow. Happy holidays! Watch  that got a job making art for this show — starting with this very episode. Totally Trans so...

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Frank’s Place Makes Hanukkah Gay show art Frank’s Place Makes Hanukkah Gay

Gayest Episode Ever

A new episode on a Tuesday?! Well, the way our schedule ended up working out was that we are finishing the year with two Christmas episodes, and we figured it would be better to get those both out before the actual holiday, so you’re getting this today and then our second Christmas ep (and the last ep of 2023) on Friday. Enjoy, we hope! “Season’s Greetings” (December 14, 1987) Perhaps you haven’t heard of Frank’s Place. All the incentive you need for this episode is that Frank’s Place is that it won Emmys, it won critical praise, and it’s still remembered today as a showcase...

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Suddenly Susan Meets a Gay show art Suddenly Susan Meets a Gay

Gayest Episode Ever

“A Boy Like That” (April 24, 1997) Heads up: We briefly discuss suicide episode in discussing on of this show’s cast members. If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, the U.S. hotline to call is 988. Well, it took us 214 episodes, but we finally arrived at Suddenly Susan. You might dismiss Brook Shields’ entry into the post-Friends landscape as an also-ran, and you are maybe right, but this first-season gay episode manages to give more depth and consideration to its one-off gay character than its fellow Must See TV alums did. That’s something. Plus Kathy Griffin is here....

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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)