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A script writer for The Simpsons says he fought hard for a Lenny and Carl joke that was written 'for gay people'.
Episode eight of season 33 was titled Portrait of a Lackey on Fire, and featured character Waylon Smithers.
In the episode, Smithers – at long last – finds a boyfriend, having had a huge crush on Mr Burns ever since the show began in 1989.
The official synopsis reads: 'Smithers finds true love with a famous fashion designer, but his new relationship may destroy Springfield.'
As shown in the episode, Smithers' new boyfriend, Michael Le Graaf (voiced by Victor Garber), mistakes Lenny and Carl for being a gay couple.
When Michael starts analysing Springfield residents’ clothing, Lenny asks him what he thinks of his top, to which Michael looks at Carl and replies: ‘Very nice.’
As per Metro, Johnny LaZebnik, who wrote the episode with his dad, Rob, told Attitude: ‘I’m a huge Lenny and Carl fan… We worked on that scene a bunch of times, and I was like, 'How can we get this joke to stay in?''
‘There are a lot of jokes for gay people that I had a hand in getting in there.’
However, Rob wasn’t so sure people would ‘get the reference’.
He told the magazine, ‘I was like, “We’ve got a Chernobyl parody! We’re doing this!”’
Smithers officially came out as gay in 2016 after obsessing over his boss for 27 years. Five years later, he met Michael.
Johnny previously told the The AV Club: 'When we – my dad and I – talked about writing this episode, something that was important to me was to see his relationship grow and flourish and to get those intimate moments of two gay people on screen talking about being gay or dating.
'To have a gay romance be the A-story of a Simpsons episode, I don’t think has ever happened. And that’s what was so exciting to me.'
The episode proved a hit with many fans, with one writing: 'One of the better recent episodes of The Simpsons.'
Someone else added: 'The comedy delivered a couple of chuckle-worthy moments to keep this relationship smooth and steady without suffering from tasteless schlock.'
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 10am–6pm Monday to Friday, or email [email protected]
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