14: Peggy Hill Meets a Drag Queen
“The Peggy Horror Picture Show” (January 28, 2007)
When Peggy Hill mistakenly shops at a store for drag queens, she gets mistaken for one. And while that might seem like hokey sitcom setup, this final-season King of the Hill episode manages some real emotions. All that said, its depiction of drag queens is one that most viewers today could call out as being… a little inaccurate, but that just shows you how far American pop culture has come in how it differentiates between drag queen and trans women.
This podcast episode debuted March 19, 2019.
13: REBECCA HOWE SUFFERS FROM GAY BLINDNESS
“Rebecca’s Lover... Not” (April 23, 1992)
Gayest Episode Ever kicks its hiatus into the gutter with the first installment of it second season. And yes, we’re back in Boston with Cheers, but it’s a very different show in its tenth season and featuring not Shelley Long but Kirstie Alley as the barmaid having to address her feelings about homosexuality. Harvey Fierstein guest stars in an episode that could have gone so, so wrong but doesn’t — and shows how far one TV show (and the whole country) can go in just one decade.
This podcast episode debuted March 12, 2019.
12: Fresh Off the Boat Outs the Girl Next Door
“A League of Her Own” (November 17, 2017)
For the second of the “off season” bonus episodes, Drew and Glen wanted to compare how a modern day, family-friendly sitcom compares with the classic versions they discussed in the first season. They picked ABC series Fresh Off the Boat, which in its fourth season had a prominent character — Nicole, the “Winnie Cooper” of this flashback series on whim the lead character has a crush — come out as a lesbian. The storyline is handled very well, and what’s most surprising is that in 2017, a coming out story on a mainstream show isn’t controversial in the least.
This podcast episode debuted October 15, 2018.
INTERVIEW: STAN ZIMMERMAN
A veteran sitcom writer, Stan Zimmerman is one half of the duo that penned the script for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the episode of Roseanne in which the main character is kissed by a lesbian. In this interview, Stan talks about the process of writing that episode and riding through the controversy surrounding it, but he also offers behind-the-scenes insight from his time on Golden Girls and the role he played in getting RuPaul the role of Miss Cummings the guidance counselor in The Brady Bunch Movie.
Also check out Drew’s article on The Golden Girls, for which he interviewed Stan.
11: Harley and Ivy Are Domestic Partners
”Harley and Ivy’ (January 18, 1993)
In GEE’s first bonus episode, Glen and Drew focus on something that's not a sitcom but is nonetheless pretty damn gay — the Batman: The Animated Series installment that put a lesbianish aura around Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, which extended to the comics and ultimately made the duo a full-fledged couple years later.
This podcast episode debuted July 30, 2018.
10: Diane Chambers Is an LGBT Ally
"The Boys in the Bar" (January 27, 1983)
When Sam Malone makes a show of supporting his newly out former teammate, the regulars at Cheers worry that bar will suddenly go queer. It's another case of straight hysteria and straight histrionics, but luckily it's Diane Chambers to the rescue. The first season of Gayest Episode Ever closes out with a remarkable installment of one of Drew and Glen's favorite shows and a singing of the praises of Shelley Long, patron saint of suffering creatives everywhere.
This podcast episode debuted May 10, 2018.
9: Jerry and George Aren’t Gay
“The Outing” (February 11, 1993)
Seinfeld won a GLAAD award for this episode all about how even the most well-meaning straight people would be horrified to be mistaken for gay. Emelie Burnette, copy editor to the stars, joins Glen and Drew to talk about what this episode gets right, the catchphrase "not that there's anything wrong with that" and why Elaine refuses to take off her coat.
This podcast episode debuted on May 3, 2018.
8: Julia Sugarbaker Plans a GAY FUNERAL
"Killing All the Right People" (October 5, 1987)
In one of the most devastating sitcom installments ever aired, Sugarbaker & Associates plans the funeral of a young gay man dying of AIDS. This is *VERY* *SAD* episode, and we want you to know that it might choke you up, should you be the type who listens at the gym. That said, there's a lot to learn from this episode of Designing Women, both in what a TV show had to do in 1987 to make straight audiences pay attention to AIDS and how TV has evolved in the past 30 years in the way it features more complex, more nuanced LGBT characters. But yeah, tears. So many tears.
This podcast episode debuted April 26, 2018.
7: HOMER SIMPSON IS A HOMOPHOBE
"Homer's Phobia" (February 16, 1997)
Hot stuff, coming through! At long last, Homer Simpson asks the difficult question, "Hey, what if Bart is a homo?" This episode has none other than John Waters on hand as the primary non-Smithers Springfield queer, and the result is one of the better gay outings of the entire '90s. Learned person Dr. Bryan Wuest is on hand to help Glen and Drew talk through camp, kitsch and all manner of gayness.
This podcast episode debuted April 18, 2018.
6: BLAIR WARNER IS A HOMOPHOBE
"Rough Housing" (August 24, 1979)
You probably remember The Facts of Life, but you may not know that the show's first season introduced a whole slew of characters who wouldn't make it to season two and also that the first-ever episode dealt with Blair's homophobia toward a tomboyish classmate that didn't even turn out to be a lesbian. Playwright and Supernatural writer Steve Yockey joins Drew and Glen to talk whether Blair is a monster, whether Mrs. Garrett crosses a line addressing Blair's monster status and why Jenny O'Hara should have remained on the show.
This podcast episode debuted April 11, 2018.
5: Mary and Rhoda Meet a Homo
"My Brother's Keeper" (January 13, 1973)
Actor and comedian Sam Pancake joins Glen and Drew to talk about this third-season episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, in which the last-minute revelation that Phyllis' brother is gay gets the biggest laugh of the show. That said, this is a sweet take on a gay episode that aired when most sitcoms didn't do them. Topics discussed include Bridget Loves Bernie, "Ode to Billy Joe," Murder by Death, the theme song to Phyllis' spinoff and how Gavin MacLeod's character sure seems kinda gay.
This podcast episode debuted April 4, 2018.
4: Archie Bunker Meets a Homo
"Judging Books by Covers" (February 9, 1971)
At the very least, the fact that Richard Nixon hated this episode of All in Family should motivate you to consider why it's actually good. In it, Archie Bunker (Carroll O'Connor) fails to learn a lesson about who's gay and who seems gay. This Norman Lear-penned script has one of the first positive portrayals of an LGBT character ever in an American TV series, and Glen and Drew's discussion covers everything from TaleSpin to Carol Danvers to Luke and Laura from General Hospital. Trigger warning: You will hear the word "fag" a lot.
This podcast episode debuted March 28, 2018.
3: DOROTHY’s FRIEND IS A LESBIAN
"Isn't It Romantic?" (November 8, 1986)
An award-winning Golden Girls outing does in the mid-1980s what many '90s sitcoms failed to do by introducing a nuanced LGBT character who's not just a prop for the hetero regulars. Lois Nettleton scored an Emmy nom for her turn as Dorothy's friend Jean, who falls for Rose and who is introduced to the audience as being 100 percent comfortable with her sexuality. Everyone else? Not so much. Actor and comedian Tony Rodriguez joins Glen and Drew to talk about why this is one of the best gay episodes of TV ever.
This podcast episodedebuted March 21, 2018.
2: Roseanne Gets Kissed By a Lesbian
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (March 1, 1994)
Roseanne's kiss with Mariel Hemingway wasn't the first instance of liplock between two women on American TV, but it was the most controversial. More than two decades later, Glen and Drew talk about this episode and how it discusses sexual gray areas, how Laurie Metcalf's character always seemed kinda lesbian-y, why Hemingway kissed the female cast of Saturday Night Live and why Roseanne was a pioneer for LGBT diversity — even if she's crazy now.
This podcast episode debuted March 14, 2018.
1: Frasier’s Boss Is Gay
"The Matchmaker" (October 4, 1994)
Shortly into Frasier's second season, one episode made it clear once and for all that despite appearances otherwise, Frasier Crane was not gay. The episode features Eric Lutes as the dashing station manager who thinks he's going on a date with Frasier, and this first installment of the podcast has Glen and Drew talking about how the show slut-shames Roz, how Niles should have come out and why this particular episode got awards for doing a gay episode the right way.
This podcast episode debuted March 8, 2018.
Back in the day, a major sitcom doing a gay episode was a big deal. A proper gay episode would get headlines, but it also got the attention of two young guys who were still figuring things out — sexuality-wise and culture-wise. Gayest Episode Ever has screenwriter Glen Lakin and stay-at-home journalist Drew Mackie going through the great and not-so-great gay episodes of sitcoms past.
At a future date, you will be able to find photos of us here. For now, please enjoy this illustration by Jeff Hinchee, an artist and fan of the show. Below, please find all relevant links.