August 5, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

“Gayest Episode Ever” An LGBTQ+ Podcast

Gayest Episode Ever is an LGBTQ+ podcast hosted by journalist Drew Mackie and screenwriter Glen Lakin.

The podcast looks at LGBTQ+ themed episodes from shows past, back when LGBTQ+ characters and story-lines were rare and (often) done terribly.

Hosts Mackie and Lakin hold producers and creators accountable for homophobic/transphobic representations in past series while also recognizing and celebrating positive portrayals of LGBTQ+ characters and themes. They also look at modern-day depictions of LGBTQ+ people and stay up-to-date on series by reading LGBTQ+ media outlets every day. 

For their end-of-season episode Glen and Drew will be returning to The Simpsons — specifically focusing on an episode that starts out as pro-gay marriage and then gets super transphobic. The end-of-season episode will also feature the hosts of the podcast Totally Trans. 

Gayest Episode Ever provides insightful commentary on the evolution of queer representation, gay rights and how culture can both affect, and be affected by, what we see on TV. Many of the shows highlighted on the podcast include The Golden Girls, I Love Lucy, Perfect Strangers, The Nanny, Night Court, Scooby-Doo, American Dad, The Simpsons, and The New Adventures of Old Christine, among so many others. 

Hosts Drew Mackie & Glen Lakin

Drew and Glen sat down with the Pride LA and gave an insightful interview to the inspiration behind Gayest Episode Ever. 

What inspired you to start a podcast covering this subject?

GLEN: First and foremost, the inspiration for the podcast was Drew asking to do this podcast and agreeing that I would never need to listen to it. (I can’t stand the sound of my voice.) The season one episode of CHEERS, “The Boys in the Bar,” probably gave me the clearest idea of what the podcast would be. The episode aired in 1983 so I assumed the content would be cringe-worthy, but I remember being pleasantly surprised by the sensitive and complex approach to the writing and performances. I wondered what other “gay” episodes of TV I had dismissed for being “too old.”

DREW: We were having these conversations anyway, so I figured there were people out there who love TV as much as we do and who’d be interested to take a closer look at some of these episodes. I feel like people today think “prestige TV” is worth a lot of critical attention, and it is, but all the less prestigious stuff we watched back in the day also reflected the attitudes of the time, good and bad. So people were just casually watching these old sitcoms, often not thinking much about how they might be influencing how they felt about LGBT issues, and I thought it would be worth it to talk about how it might have pushed people’s opinions one way or the other.

How have listeners’ reactions been? Positive? Negative? Mixed?

GLEN: Drew bears the brunt of our feedback and social media engagement. I want to say positive, but he just might be shielding me. I’ve had listeners reach out with screenwriting questions about their own projects, which has been really nice.

DREW: People have mostly been receptive — and even more so since we started covering episodes that fall outside our experiences as cisgender straight men but also bringing in guests who do identify as lesbian or trans or bi or anything else and can give a first-hand acocunt about how they feel about what was in these old episodes. If we get one complaint, it’s from an older listener — usually an older gay guy — telling us that we suck because we are approaching TV shows from past decades using the social standards of today. We try really hard to balance how something would have gone over back when it aired vs. how it stands up today, but some people just don’t want to hear that The Golden Girls was anything less than perfect. We love the Golden Girls, but not every joke has aged well, and some weren’t so hot to begin with.

How do you think this podcast helps the LGBTQ+ community?

GLEN: Representation matters, so it’s important to understand the history of our representation in media, good or bad. We can’t judge our progress, present and future, without knowing the past. 

DREW: That’s for the listeners to decide. We think we’re doing something worthwhile if we can make someone think differently about something they watched twenty years ago, whether we’re making that thing seem better than they remember or we’re showing how it maybe was smuggling some toxic ideas into their living room without them realizing it. But if someone looks at the show and says “I can’t believe these guys spent an hour and a half talking about Doogie Howser,” well, that’s fine too.

Do you think current tv shows have improved  when it comes to how tv shows deal with LGBTQ issues?

GLEN: Mostly, yes, simply because there are more LGBTQ characters and story-lines on TV across all formats and genres – even animation. There’s still cringe-worthy content, and I think some big name creators and shows give us an inaccurate sense of progress. There’s still lots of work to do, on camera and behind the scenes, especially when it comes to Bi and Trans representation.

DREW: A major plus of having multiple LGBTQ characters on any one show is that it’s no longer the case that a single character has to shoulder the weight of LGBT representation. Now we can have LGBTQ characters who are more interesting and more flawed — and also less often white cisgender men, because a lot of LGBT representation way back then was pretty much only that. The LGBTQ community onscreen is looking more like the one that exists in the world, and that’s something we should continue to demand of these shows.


Listeners can catch the Gayest Episodes Ever’s end-of-the-season episode airing tomorrow (June 30th) and catch up on past episodes here: https://www.gayestepisodeever.com/

Related Posts

Inclusive Pregnant Man Emoji May Be Coming To Software Updates

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

More inclusive emojis may be coming to future software updates, including one of a pregnant man. A “pregnant man” and...

$3 Million To Train California Teachers On LGBTQ Issues

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

California Gov. Gavin Newsom approved a final state budget that includes $3 million for LGBTQ cultural competency training for public...

Strut BAR & CLUB Presents Mimosa Girls Drag Brunch

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

Strut BAR & CLUB has announced its weekly drag brunch featuring the Mimosa Girls.  Costa Mesa’s ALL inclusive location for...

WeHo Asking For Community Input On Naming Request to Rename the West Hollywood Library

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

The City of West Hollywood is conducting a community survey to solicit public input about a naming request to rename...

Lil Nas X Releases New Music Video “Industry Baby”

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

Lil Nas X has shared the music video for his new song “Industry Baby”. Directed by Christian Breslauer the video...

GLAAD Responds To Historic Emmy Noms

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

GLAAD has responded to the historic Emmy nominations after it was announced that out trans actress MJ Rodriguez and out...

MJ Rodriguez Makes History As First Out Trans Woman Emmy Nominee

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

Actress Michaela Jaé, formerly known as  MJ Rodriguez, became the first out trans woman performer to be nominated in a...

PReP, The HiV Prevention Pill, Free

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

Insurers have been advised that they shouldn’t be charging for Truvada and Descovy as HIV prevention and that associated clinic...

WeHo Heat Alert For Pets

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

The City of West Hollywood reminds human caregivers of canine companions and feline friends that high-heat days can be extremely...

Disneyland Drops ‘Boys and Girls’ Reference

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

Disneyland will be changing the introduction to its nightly fireworks show from “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls,...

Trans Incident At Wi Spa May Have Been Staged

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

On June 24th an Instagram user “cubaangel” posted a video of herself angrily confronting a staff member at the Wi...

Podcast Host Mat George Killed In Hit-And-Run

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

Mathew George, gay co-host of the podcast “She Rates Dogs”, has died at the age of 26 after a hit-and-run...

Los Angeles LGBT Center Vaccinates Trans and Non-Binary Community Members

July 14, 2021

July 14, 2021

The Los Angeles LGBT Center has made it its mission to vaccinate the  trans and non-binary  community in a safe...

Gaywatch: Back To The Beach

July 14, 2021

July 14, 2021

On Saturday July 10th Venice Pride hosted Gaywatch: Back To The Beach, a queer dance party at the only gay-owned...

City of West Hollywood Launches ‘Dockless Mobility’ Pilot Program

July 14, 2021

July 14, 2021

City of West Hollywood Launches ‘Dockless Mobility’ Pilot Program with E-Scooters and E-Bikes from Bird, Lime, and Wheels. Starting July...