Gayest Episode Ever
Gayest Episode Ever
Drew Mackie & Glen Lakin / TableCakes Productions
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Back in the day, a major sitcom doing a gay episode was a big deal. A proper gay episode would get headlines, but it would get 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.
Penelope Alvarez Is the Mother of a Queer Teenager
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.
Oct 14
1 hr 29 min
Julia Sugarbaker Dates a Possible Homosexual
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
Oct 6
1 hr 39 min
The Dream On Guy Has a Gay Dad
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.
Sep 29
1 hr 6 min
Rachel Kisses a Lesbian
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.
Sep 22
1 hr 44 min
Diane Chambers Revisited (An Episode That Glen Can Actually Listen To)
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.”
Sep 20
1 hr 19 min
Mike Seaver Actually Said the Word ‘Gay’
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
Sep 15
1 hr 27 min
Norm Peterson Is Gay for Pay
“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.
Sep 8
1 hr 12 min
In the House Made RuPaul Play a Heterosexual
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.
Sep 1
1 hr 6 min
Introducing the Shelley Longcast!
Episode One: The Brady Bunch Movie — Welcome to the first installment of the Shelley Longcast, the only podcast (that we know of) dedicated to the cinematic work of Shelley Long. You’re seeing this on the Gayest Episode Ever feed because it’s the the Patreon-exclusive bonus series we’ve launched and we decided you listeners might enjoy this first, more TV-related episode: The Brady Bunch Movie.
Aug 31
53 min
Finch’s Buddy Is Trans
Just Shoot Me, “Brandy, You’re a Fine Girl” (November 16, 2000) — Finally, it’s Gayest Episode Ever’s first trans episode. Glen and Drew decided to start with a 2000 episode of Just Shoot Me that features Jenny McCarthy as the childhood friend of David Spade’s character who rolls into town with some surprising news. It’s not great, but this episode’s shortcomings demonstrate how the general conversation about trans folks has evolved in the past twenty years.
Aug 25
1 hr 40 min
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