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1992: The Final Episode of The Golden Girls Airs

1992: The Final Episode of The Golden Girls Airs

The Final Episode of The Golden Girls Airs
Courtesy of Samuel Hatmaker

Marc Cherry reflects on writing for the iconic series. 

For 25 years, OUT has celebrated queer culture. To mark our silver jubilee, we look back at some of the biggest, brightest moments of the past 9,131 days.

1992: Before he created his hit show Desperate Housewives, Marc Cherry served as a writer and producer on what has become one of the most beloved sitcoms in TV history. Cherry joined the Golden Girls family in 1990 and crafted crackling one-liners and boundary-pushing story lines for Dorothy, Sophia, Blanche, and Rose until the series ended on May 9, 1992. Here, he recalls writing "Sister of the Bride," a 1991 episode that left an indelible impression on him.

"The Golden Girls already felt like a gay show, regardless of whether they had gay characters on it or not. My writing partner, Jamie Wooten, and I were just surprised when we got there that we were the only gay writers, because we thought it had such a fun gay sensibility. That being said, when you're writing on somebody else's show, you're somewhat limited in what you can do. One of the reasons I always wanted to have my own shows is so that I could at some point contribute to the movement -- and create positive gay role models. That wasn't my primary focus when I got to The Golden Girls. At that point, I was so young, I was just trying to learn how to write.

The first gay character I got to write for was Blanche's brother, played by Monte Markham. He'd been on the show before, and Jamie and I brought him back. We had him return with a guy, and they announced they were getting married. That was a big story line to do, and the executive producer at the time thought it was a fun idea.

What we weren't prepared for was the hate mail we received after the episode aired. Jamie got phone calls at his home from people who were just furious that we had brought this gay character back. This was my first real acquaintance with the importance of what TV writers do: We can introduce gay people just by putting them in people's homes. We can challenge people's ideas about gays and lesbians and say something with our portrayals. This is one of the reasons I had a gay couple on Wisteria Lane on Desperate Housewives -- I wanted viewers to see gays as just people on the block. They get along with everyone, they can be your neighbors, and it'll be just fine. That experience on The Golden Girls taught me how important that is.

As I grew as a writer, I took the responsibility of creating positive role models very seriously. Every time we put a portrayal of a gay person on television, it matters."

Also in 1992: Madonna puts out her racy book, Sex, shot by Steven Meisel.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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