Woo-hoo! The Simpsons is currently in its 27th(!) season, and in that time, there have been more running jokes from the show’s history than anyone can count. One is, of course, Waylon Smithers’ ambiguous sexual orientation.
The latest episode blew the top off that bit with Smithers (voiced by Harry Shearer) proudly coming out — but did the venerable Fox comedy manage to stick the landing? Read on to find the answer with our recap!
Zero Days Without Heartbreak
The Sunday, April 3, episode got right into the thick of it with Smithers and Mr. Burns (also Shearer) skydiving, flying by the title screen in a fantastic gag. Burns took a leap, only to slip through his parachute and be saved by a diving Smithers.
Waylon’s admission of love for Monty on the ground was interrupted by the elderly tycoon's usual disdain, leading right into a song and dance number through the halls of the Nuclear Power Plant. With little going his way, Smithers took his anger out on his own “Three Stooges”: Homer, Lenny (Shearer) and Carl (Hank Azaria).
Royally screwing up any task given to them, the three decided to find a woman for Smithers ... who can then find him a man. It’s off to Grindr, as Homer (Dan Castellaneta) invited Springfield's gay denizens to Casa de Simpson to set Waylon up. Enter a wit-filled cameo from one George Takei, asking potential suitors if “they’d mind hearing about Bill Shatner horror stories.”
Smithers managed to fall head over heels with Julio (Azaria), a long-running character on the series, and their relationship got cracking!
The Role I Was Anagrammed to Play
Bogart fever was meanwhile sweeping Springfield Elementary, as students tried out for the school’s newest production of Casablanca. Lisa (Yeardley Smith) easily nailed the audition, getting the lauded role of Ilsa, while Milhouse (Pamela Hayden) tried desperately to land the role of Rick.
A transfer student by the name of Jack put a wrench into Milhouse's plans by getting the role, with Bart's (Nancy Cartwright) bestie as the understudy. Milhouse cried that “both words of understudy are terrible.”
Bart and Milhouse formulated a plan to take Rick out of commission, somewhat succeeding, only for it to be finally revealed that the Milhouse on stage was in fact a disguised Rick! “THRILLHO” has left the building.
Home Straight, Highway Gay
Julio and Smithers romped across Springfield as poor old Monty Burns couldn’t quite seem to find a second-in-command with Waylon’s undying loyalty. When PETA got involved and employees asked for health care, you knew Mr. Burns was ready to buckle!
Things unfortunately fall apart between Smithers and his new beau, as the longtime Power Plant employee just couldn’t escape the lovable grimace of Burns. Monty asked for Waylon back with a million dollar check, but Smithers instead settled for an “excellent” performance review. Everybody wins!
Things then went back to normal for Springfield, but what would an episode of The Simpsons be without that being the case?
Tell Us: Do you like how The Simpsons handled Smithers coming out?
The Simpsons airs on FOX on Sundays at 8 p.m. ET.
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