Gay Simpsons' character Smithers gets first boyfriend after coming out

Gay Simpsons character Smithers is set to start dating a SUGAR DADDY: Mr Burns’ longtime assistant will debut new romance with a billionaire fashion mogul – five years after coming out

  • In a new episode of the show, Waylon Smithers (voiced by Harry Shearer) will date billionaire Michael De Graaf (played by guest star Victor Garber) 
  • Victor, who publicly came out as gay in 2013, said voicing the character ‘brought back certain feelings’ he had ‘as a young actor where I couldn’t be gay’
  • The Fox show’s longtime writer, Rob LaZebnik, worked with his gay son Johnny on the episode – a process he called ‘super fun and rewarding’
  • He said the episode will get into the ‘nitty-gritty of how gay people date, how they meet, and what it’s like’ 
  • The episode is set to air on November 21, and the announcement has garnered mixed responses, with some slamming the show for pandering to ‘woke’ viewers

Gay Simpsons character Waylon Smithers is set to embark on a romance with his first boyfriend – a billionaire sugar daddy – five years after coming out on the hit cartoon series, following decades of speculation about his sexuality.

Smithers, one of the longest-running characters on the Fox show, will debut his new relationship with fashion mogul Michael De Graaf in an upcoming episode set to air on November 21, according to the New York Post.

Back in 2016, Smithers, who is voiced by Harry Shearer and is the personal assistant of Springfield Nuclear Power Plant owner Mr. Burns, came out of the closet in an emotional episode, which the Fox show’s longtime writer, Rob LaZebnik, said was inspired by his own gay son, Johnny LaZebnik. Now, Johnny has teamed up with his dad to write the new episode.

Actor Victor Garber, who publicly came out as gay in 2013, and is going to make a guest appearance in the upcoming episode as Smither’s billionaire beau, opened up about the plotline, revealing that voicing the new character ‘brought back certain feelings’ he had ‘as a young actor where I couldn’t be gay.’

‘I think it’s crucially important that these stories are acknowledged,’ the 72-year-old told the outlet. ‘I haven’t played a lot of gay characters, but every time I do it, it brings back certain feelings I had as a young actor where I couldn’t be gay.

Victor, who married his longtime partner, Rainer Andreesen, in 2015, added: ‘It was kind of a reminder of how much things have changed and also how I’ve evolved. In my journey to find self-acceptance, self-love, it’s a definite significant part of it.’  

Viewers are going to see gay Simpsons’ character Smithers enter into his first relationship since coming out five years ago, in an upcoming episode which is set to air on November 21

In the episode, Waylon Smithers will be thrust into a whirlwind romance with billionaire fashion mogul Michael De Graaf


Actor Victor Garber (left) is going to make a guest appearance in the upcoming episode as Smither’s new man. Harry Shearer (right) has played Smithers for more than 33-years

Victor, who came out as gay in 2013, said voicing the character ‘brought back feelings’ he had ‘as a young actor where I couldn’t be gay.’ He is pictured with his partner, Rainer Andreesen

Rob, 59, said working with his son on the episode was ‘super fun and rewarding.’

‘To be able to work with Johnny on this was, like, such a dream and to be able to see how truly funny and talented he is was just, you know, super fun and rewarding,’ he told the outlet.

As for Johnny, who followed in his dad’s footsteps and is now also a comedy writer, he said it was ‘spectacular and fulfilling’ to write alongside his dad. 

He added, ‘I know my dad is a comedy writer. I grew up with him – obviously, I know he’s a funny guy.

‘But actually getting to sit down and write jokes with him was so much fun. And there were some moments where I was like, “Dad, that’s disgusting – we can’t put that on television,” which I didn’t expect to be saying because I’m usually the disgusting one.

‘We now have this piece of content that we put into the world together that is a combined brainpower of the two of us.’

The 27-year-old, who has worked on shows like the Paramount+ Rugrats reboot and the upcoming Disney Junior show Eureka!, said the episode will get into the ‘nitty-gritty of how gay people date, how they meet, and what it’s like.’

He revealed: ‘So often, gay romances are a subplot or alluded to or shown in some kind of montage or as a punchline. And what I think I was really excited about, with this episode, we get to see – without spoiling too much – the beginning, middle, and who knows how it ends of a gay relationship, of really getting into the nitty-gritty of how gay people date, how they meet, what it’s like.

‘That was really special to me to get to highlight characters who are not punchlines, who are fully formed.’ 

The announcement of the episode has garnered mixed responses online, with some people excited to see the character finally find love, and others not so into it. One Twitter user felt the story line was a ‘waste of content.’

‘Was this really needed we know Smithers is gay – why make a whole episode about it?’ they wrote. ‘We’ve known since season one this is a waste of content material.’

‘That’s it I will no longer be watching The Simpsons,’ another person tweeted. ‘They just lost a loyal viewer and a longtime fan.

‘They just *had* to appeal to the woke crowd and it is not funny anymore. I will not let my gay son watch this filth.’ 

On the other hand, other users claimed that they were ‘very excited’ to see the episode and that it was about time the character had some action.

In the 2016 episode that saw him coming out, Smithers and Mr. Burns went skydiving together. But after they had a brush with death – he wanted to share his undesired love for his boss

His sentiment was unfortunately cut short when Mr. Burns told him that he ‘is someone I give less thought to than the little piece of popcorn stuck in my tooth’

Smithers was heartbroken. But Homer Simpson was determined to help him find a new man, so he enlisting the dating app Grinder

‘You would think, since its debut in 1989, and 712 episodes, poor Waylon would have found love in 32 years of programming,’ one person joked.

Another added, ‘Can’t wait for people to get salty over this even though Smithers has been gay for like 30 years.’

Of course, Smithers’ sexuality didn’t come as much surprise to fans of The Simpsons back when he first came out in the Season 27 episode five years ago.

Over the course of the 33-season show, he has appeared roller-skating in rainbow shorts out of the Stonewall Bakery in Springfield’s gay district and has had a number of racy fantasies about his boss Mr. Burns – including one where he jumped out of a birthday cake – Marilyn Monroe style – singing ‘Happy birthday, Mr. Smithers.’

In the episode that saw him coming out, titled The Burns Cage, Smithers and Mr. Burns went skydiving together. But after they had a brush with death when Mr. Burns parachute didn’t work and narrowly survived – Smithers decided he wanted to share his undesired love for his boss.

His sentiment was unfortunately cut short when Mr. Burns told him that he ‘is someone I give less thought to than the little piece of popcorn stuck in my tooth.’ 

Smithers was heartbroken – so much so that he decided to quit his job. But Homer Simpson was determined to help him find a new man, so he enlisting the dating app Grinder. 

He ended up going on a few dates with a bartender named Julio, however, their relationship didn’t last

Eventually, Mr. Burns realized how much he needed Smithers and gave him a performance review of ‘excellent’ – something that meant a lot to Smithers – and the two shared a sweet hug

‘What better way to tell my son I love him than to write a cartoon about it?’ Rob told the New York Post about the episode after it first aired

He said he did not want Smithers’ ‘coming out’ to be comedy and overblown, but based it on his own experience when Johnny came out to him and his wife, Claire

He ended up going on a few dates with a bartender named Julio, however, their relationship didn’t last.

Eventually, Mr. Burns realized how much he needed Smithers and gave him a performance review of ‘excellent’ – something that meant a lot to Smithers. He decided to go back to work for Mr. Burns, and the two shared a sweet hug.

‘I am a Midwestern guy, so I don’t tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve, but I thought, ‘What better way to tell my son I love him than to write a cartoon about it?’ Rob told the New York Post about the episode after it first aired. 

He said he did not want Smithers’ ‘coming out’ to be comedy and overblown, but based it on his own experience when Johnny came out to him and his wife, Claire.

‘We didn’t really want to have that big moment of ‘I’m out,’ you know?’ he explained. ‘Instead, just have it be a big embrace – like everyone knows it.’ 

At the time, Johnny said he was touched by the episode but said that the ‘revelation’ that his father loves him was ‘thankfully’ not much of a revelation at all.

‘He’s unbelievably accepting. We’re as close as a straight dad and a gay son could be,’ he added.

‘I was really happy that someone who has experience with a gay person in their immediate family was writing the script.’

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