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The Evolution of Coming Out Episodes

Gayest Episode Ever

Release Date: 06/14/2023

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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A Queer History of SNL, Part Three: The “Not Ready for Prime Time” Era show art A Queer History of SNL, Part Three: The “Not Ready for Prime Time” Era

Gayest Episode Ever

Welcome to the first of our in-depth looks at LGBTQ humor in specific eras of Saturday Night Live. Of course, we’re starting at the beginning, in the classic era, and yeah, some of them are better than you’d guess and some of them are so much worse. It’s a real grab bag, but there are lessons to be learned about how SNL came to be what it is today and how American humor has evolved since 1975.   Buy new book, .   Watch all the sketches featured in this episode .   Here are the sketches, in order: Jamitol (S1E1: George Carlin, Oct. 11 1975) Long Distance (S1E4:...

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More Episodes

This week, we’re joined by Matt Baume, author of the new book Hi Honey, I’m Homo, about the history of LGBTQ representation on American TV. Instead of a single episode, we’re talking about several, including some we’ve covered previously on GEE and some we have not!

  • All in the Family, “Judging Books by Covers” (February 9, 1971)

  • Soap, “Episode 1.8” (November 8, 1977)

  • The Golden Girls, “Isn’t It Romantic?” (November 8, 1986) and “Sister of the Bride” (January 12, 1991)

  • Ellen, “The Puppy Episode” (April 30, 1997)

  • Will & Grace, “Homo for the Holidays” (November 25, 1999)

  • Schitt’s Creek, “Honeymoon” (April 15, 2015)

Go buy Matt’s book, Hi Honey, I’m Homo!

Watch the Carol Burnette clip with Jim Nabors and Rock Hudson that Drew mentions.

Watch the Ellen DeGeners appearance on Rosie O’Donnell that Matt mentions.

And here is that Australian marriage equality ad.

Listen to that deep dive about Cool World that Drew mentions.

There are a lot of references to episodes we’ve covered previously, and check them all out here:

Give us a rate and review on Apple Podcasts — and on Spotify too, if you can.