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Norm Peterson Is Gay for Pay

Gayest Episode Ever

Release Date: 09/09/2020

Jennifer Slept Here Is a Little Gay Boy’s Fantasy show art Jennifer Slept Here Is a Little Gay Boy’s Fantasy

Gayest Episode Ever

“Jennifer: The Movie” (October 29, 1983), Jennifer Slept Here — We’re celebrating both Halloween and week two of our celebration of Ann Jillian with an episode about how the 1983 NBC series Jennifer Slept Here is both so very weird and also a little gay boy’s fantasy.

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It’s a Living Waits on a Trans Woman show art It’s a Living Waits on a Trans Woman

Gayest Episode Ever

“Gender Gap” (January 11, 1986), It’s a Living — Heads up: Initially, at least, Drew thought the episode being discussed was more transphobic that most, but special guest Ashley Lauren Rogers pointed out the ways the one trans episode of It’s a Living isn't a total wash — and since Ashley happens to be the host of the Is It Transphobic? podcast, that counts for something.

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Penelope Alvarez Is the Mother of a Queer Teenager show art Penelope Alvarez Is the Mother of a Queer Teenager

Gayest Episode Ever

One Day at a Time, “Pride and Prejudice” (January 6, 2017) — The new One Day at a Time gets major points for focusing on a Latin family, for successfully re-inventing a Norman Lear classic and for giving us another reason to love Rita Moreno. Most important for this podcast’s purposes, however, is its nuanced handling of teenage Elena’s coming out.

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Julia Sugarbaker Dates a Possible Homosexual show art Julia Sugarbaker Dates a Possible Homosexual

Gayest Episode Ever

Designing Women, “A Toe in the Water” (September 23, 1991) — What is Designing Women minus Delta Burke and Jean Smart but plus Julia Duffy and Jan Hooks? An interesting beast that is different than the Suzanne/Charlene years, yeah, but still pretty damn interesting. This episode is a showcase for Duffy’s anti-Diane Chambers, Allison Sugarbaker, who only lasted a season but it wasn’t her fault? Jonathan Bradley Welch makes his second GEE turn to talk Sugarbakers and his new podcast with Stonewall D

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The Dream On Guy Has a Gay Dad show art The Dream On Guy Has a Gay Dad

Gayest Episode Ever

Dream On, “Pop Secret” (June 23, 1993) — The HBO sitcom Dream On got a rep for being both a more grown-up take on sitcoms... and also a showcase for boobs. But this show’s fourth-season gay episode lands pretty well today. It’s all about series protag Martin Tupper (Brian Benben) finding out his dad is gay and processing it more realistically than other characters on other sitcoms would.

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Rachel Kisses a Lesbian show art Rachel Kisses a Lesbian

Gayest Episode Ever

Friends, “The One with Rachel's Big Kiss” (April 26, 2001) — Welcome back Emelie Battaglia for another go-around with America’s favorite homophobic sitcom, Friends! This episode has “Chandler is gay” jokes aplenty, even if he’s about to marry Monica, but the focus is actually on Rachel, who encounters a college acquaintance (Winona Ryder) with whom she once shared a kiss. This episode features two more woman-on-woman kisses than the one where Carol and Susan get married. Ahem.

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Diane Chambers Revisited (An Episode That Glen Can Actually Listen To) show art Diane Chambers Revisited (An Episode That Glen Can Actually Listen To)

Gayest Episode Ever

Cheers, ”The Boys in the Bar“ (January 27, 1983) — If you’ve been listening to this podcast for a bit, you may be aware of the fact that Glen refuses to listen to it. Drew thinks this is too bad, because this really seems like the kind of podcast Glen would really enjoy. In celebration of Glen’s birthday month, Drew asked Sam Pancake and Tony Rodriguez to do a reading of one of the best episodes we’ve done: Episode 10, “Diane Chambers Is an LGBT Ally.”

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Mike Seaver Actually Said the Word ‘Gay’ show art Mike Seaver Actually Said the Word ‘Gay’

Gayest Episode Ever

Growing Pains — “Mike’s Madonna Story” (November 5, 1985) Yep, we’re actually doing Growing Pains — specifically because of one scene in a first-season episode in which Kirk Cameron’s character tosses of the line “Maybe I’m gay.” It might seem small, but it’s crazy to consider the word “gay” even being spoken on this quintessential 80s family show, much less by a character played by a guy who’d shortly thereafter become a born-again Christianity and who’d eventually disclose so

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Norm Peterson Is Gay for Pay show art Norm Peterson Is Gay for Pay

Gayest Episode Ever

“Norm, Is That You?” (December 8, 1988), Cheers — If we told you this episode features George Wendt’s character pretending to be gay, you’d probably imagine that Wendt would go really big with that performance. Most sitcoms would if a straight actor were playing a straight character playing a gay character, but Cheers doesn’t, and in fact this is an episode about gayness where it goes oddly remarked upon. 

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In the House Made RuPaul Play a Heterosexual show art In the House Made RuPaul Play a Heterosexual

Gayest Episode Ever

In the House, “Boys II Men II Women” (December 4, 1995) — Twenty-five ago, long before he’d become a media mogul and the face of an international franchise, Rupaul made 1995 his most mainstream year yet. Not only did he have his mainstream debut in The Brady Bunch movie, but he also did one-off guest roles in a number of network sitcoms. But only In the House had him playing a drag queen who was an avowed heterosexual.

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More Episodes

“Norm, Is That You?” (December 8, 1988)

If we told you this episode features George Wendt’s character pretending to be gay, you’d probably imagine that Wendt would go really big with that performance. Most sitcoms would if a straight actor were playing a straight character playing a gay character, but Cheers doesn’t, and in fact this is an episode about gayness where it goes oddly not remarked upon — and not spoken about outright. 

Listen to our previous Cheers episodes, Rebecca Howe Suffers From Gay Blindness and Diane Chambers Is an LGBT Ally.

Here’s the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article in which it was conjectured that Cheers might replace Kirstie Alley with Joan Severance, playing Rebecca Howe’s sister.

Watch the trailer for Norman… Is That You?, the 1973 Redd Foxx comedy that came out three years after his sitcom referenced the source material in “Lamont, Is That You?”

The strangeness that is Pink Lady and Jeff.

And yes, Spain remade Cheers. It has a Woody and a Coach existing at the same time. It’s weird.

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This episode’s outro track is "Southpaw" by Pink Lady: Apple MusicSpotify