How the Simpsons made Smithers a three-dimensional gay character
After 33 seasons on the iconic animated series The simpsons, Smithers finally has a boyfriend!
The character, who has been the subject of many jokes over the years, only became gay in 2016. He has been single since – until now.
According to Outside, Smithers is “blown away and taken around the world in a whirlwind romance of billionaire fashion mogul Michael De Graaf (voiced by veteran actor Victor Garber)”.
To make the dialogue truly authentic, writer Rob Lazebnik enlisted the help of his gay son, Johnny, to get the jargon right. In an episode of The most gay episode of all time, Johnny reveals to co-hosts Drew Mackie and Glen Lakin that his father had to ask for the basic mechanics of THIS dating app.
âThis text is one of the funniest things I’ve ever received, period,â he said. âI think every gay man’s dream is for their dad to text them out of the blue asking them how Grindr works.â¦ I think my dad’s specific question was like, ‘Are you slipping? on Grindr? âAnd I was like, ‘Absolutely not, you don’t.’ And that’s the kind of thing a straight person would throw away as a joke, something like ‘Oh he slipped me on Grindr’ and then a gay person looking at him would be like, ‘I feel so alienated by this content because you clearly don’t know what you’re talking about. So I was very happy to be included and very grateful that I was able to give a little more authenticity to the gay world they were creating. “
The quadruple also discussed the evolution of Smithers’ character over the decades and the atonement for some of the homophobic sins of his past. Earlier this year, The most gay episode of all time share a supercut of all the LGBTQ + moments on the show – and that doesn’t present writers in their best light.
But now Rob feels like The simpsons is on the way to righting some of these wrongs. âWhat’s unusual is being on a show that’s been on for 33 years. It’s like us and 60 Minutes. How do we go back and watch Morley Safer’s shows from 1961? so an unusual situation for sure. I think with an episode like this it’s really cool to be a part of the evolution of the show. “
As someone who really grew up immersed in the show, Johnny agrees and even dived into this story. “What really got me excited is being able to refer to some old gay stuff from The simpsons. One of my favorite things is in the background, Smithers has a poster for Sold Separately, the Malibu Stacey musical. This musical is one of my favorite tracks and actually it’s really special because it was in the first full episode of my father’s series. Smithers and our family have this strange story at this point. My dad wrote the Smithers Coming Out episode and now this episode with me, and it’s really cool to be a part of this evolution of Smithers into a three-dimensional gay character. “
Today, Rob believes the Smithers series and love story “reflects the growth of the country,” he said. “Over time, television has really been part of this evolution.”