Springfield’s worst kept secret will finally be revealed.
The sexual orientation of Waylon Smithers has been a recurring joke on The Simpsons since the early seasons, not so much the fact that he’s gay, but Mr. Burns’ obliviousness to his right hand-man’s dreams. Smithers writes musicals about dolls, has an inappropriately sexual computer log-in screen, and shields his eyes from female strippers. Yet it’s understandable why he wouldn’t want his ageless boss to know that he’s gay — remember, Mr. Burns is the same man who crippled that Irishman, and laughed about it for days.
Let’s hope his reaction to Smithers’ announcement is less painful.
“In Springfield now, most people know he’s gay, but obviously Burns doesn’t,” [showrunner Al] Jean notes. “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.” (Via)
This isn’t the first time a major Simpsons character will have an episode devoted to their coming out. In season 16’s “There’s Something About Marrying,” Patty tells Marge she’s a lesbian, and that she’s getting married to a woman named Veronica (who turns out to be a man… don’t ask). Smithers’ episode will function a little differently, though, because Patty’s sexuality was a minor surprise; we already know what Smithers does in his free time.
And how will he break the news? Three simple words: “I. Am. Gay.”