Johnny LaZebnik, author of a new episode of The simpsons focusing on Waylon Smithers’ gay relationship, spoke about the making of the episode.
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LaZebnik, who is gay, is the son of longtime Simpsons writer and producer Rob LaZebnik. His father wrote the 2016 episode “The Burns Cage” in which Smithers first appeared as gay, with LaZebnik acting as an “unofficial consultant.”
Announced earlier this month and released last week (November 21), “Portrait Of A Lackey On Fire” sees Smithers fall in love with fashion designer Michael De Graaf, voiced by Victor Garber.
“When we, my dad and I, talked about writing this episode, something that was important to me was watching his relationship grow and flourish and having those intimate moments of two gay men on screen talking about ‘being gay or dating’, LaZebnik Told The audiovisual club.
“For a gay romance to be the A story of an episode of The Simpsons, I don’t think that ever happened. And that’s what was so exciting to me.
Discussing Smithers’ past on the show, he said: “I think in many ways he was really an awesome gay character to have at the start, because he’s not sort of the stereotypical, flamboyant gay who you see in so many of those late ’90s cartoons. He’s probably the most capable character on the show.
“To continue to be able to add to that legacy and that story is great. And I think we did a really good job in this episode of staying true to her character while simultaneously fleshing out her existence as a real person.
Addressing the show’s previous jokes about Smithers’ sexuality, he said, “I want to be upfront in saying that I like a lot of these jokes. When I talk to my gay friends about The simpsons […] jokes like that are like some of my favorite content on the show.
He also expressed his admiration for how The Simpsons recently spent time on its minor characters. “The show does such a great job of fleshing out all of these characters, and Smithers is one of them who deserves his time.”
Meanwhile, a new piece of street art by Bart Simpson – thought to potentially be by Banksy – has popped up in Worcestershire.
The mural was spotted shortly after Darrell Meekcom, a terminally ill man from Kidderminster, was arrested after turning on a speed camera.