You knew it. I knew it. We all knew it. Waylon Smithers is gay. Yet one of the longest running - and best - gags in the Simpsons was his permanently closeted sexuality. It led to a string of classic jokes, like his sexually charged Mr Burns screensaver, the dream where Burns flies in through the window, or - my personal fave - where Troy McClure answers a viewers' snarky letter about the 'deal' with Smithers:
"As you can see, the real deal with Waylon Smithers is that he's Mr. Burns' assistant. He's in his early forties, is unmarried, and currently resides in Springfield. Thanks for writing!"
Sadly, these examples of well thought out, nuanced humour are things the show is no longer capable of. So as it continues to drag its corpse across our television screens with bizarre plot-twists and unnecessary character arcs, news appears of Smithers' official emergence from the closet. Speaking to TV Line, writer Al Jean said, "“In Springfield now, most people know he’s gay, but obviously Burns doesn’t. We deal with that in two episodes. We actually do a lot with Smithers this year; he gets fed up with Burns not appreciating him and considers his options.”
I'm sure the episodes will feature a guest spot from a prominent member of the LGBT community, playing themselves. Like Ellen Degeneres.
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