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The Gayest Robots


Why do robots always talk in such "gay" voices? Is the future gay? Is it meant to be a slur? Are all robots gay? Take your pick…

Gay Robot sketch and pilot episodes (2006)

This started as a comedy nugget on Adam Sandler's Shhh...Don't Tell album. In 2006, Comedy Central filmed a pilot for a TV show that didn't get off the ground. Gay Robot, voiced by Nick Swardson, is much as the name suggests.

HAL 9000, 2001 (1968)

There's been a lot written about this one, and the idea that in the future sexuality and gender roles would be fluid and so HAL's voice (Shakespearean actor Douglas Rain) was chosen to suit. On the other hand, Kubrick's biographer Vincent Lobrutto notes that the director was pleased with the "patronizing, asexual quality" Rain gave HAL. Either way, HAL'S lazy, bitchy tones are pretty convincing: "Quite honestly, I wouldn't worry myself about that"...

Twiki, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979-81)

Don't be fooled by Twiki's small stature. Here, the cunning robot tries to slip Buck a date rape pill, and is clearly miffed by Buck's interest in the bad lady in the bikini.

Robby, Forbidden Planet (1956)

"Star sapphires take a week to crystallize properly -- would diamonds or emeralds do?" Defender of the maiden's honor, expert cook and tailor, Robby is your archetypal gay butler.

C3PO, Star Wars (1977)

I mean -- "There'll be no escape for the princess this time" -- don't we all say that when things get tough? C3PO even has the perfect mincing walk, so he may be a robotic homophobic slur, but we prefer to think he's just a queer ole droid.

Maximilian, The Black Hole (1979)

A study in gleaming red and black, plus he'll kill you with his whisk if you get in his way. He'd be a hit at the Black Party.

V.I.C.I., Small Wonder (1985-89)

Ack... diabetes overload. But still, there's something horridly fascinating about it.

The Ilia Probe, aka "V-jay", Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

The names alone deserve a prize. OK, it's actually "Vee-ger" and is a corruption of "Voyager," but just listen to how they say it. And "Ilia Probe"? This baldy, asexually voiced robot is right up our alley.

KITT, Knight Rider (1982)

"Well it sounded like an accusation to me, Michael..." Kitt gets some real 'tude in this clip, confirming what we knew all along.

Tom Servo, Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988-99)

Well, he's gay in this clip at least...

Cops, THX 1138 (1971)

They look like CHIPs but with shiny robot faces ... and even more leather. And slimmer hips. Oh, yes.

Johnny 5, Short Circuit (1986)

That voice! And he loves butterflies and runs away from the brutish military, right? P.S. Wall-E's grandad, clearly!

Bubo the Owl, Clash of the Titans (1981)

Complete with the fairyest music ever composed, Bubo is a fluttering mechanical owl with jeweled eyes. Only Perseus can understand (and bear) him. Few clips remain, but here he is in a mocumentary that opens with his cinematic debut...

Kryten, Red Dwarf (1988-99)

A cheap-ass but pretty funny Brit space comedy, with another camp polite English voiced robot -- like C3P0 but goth-er.

Bomb 20, Dark Star (1974)

A prissy, Old Testament-quoting nuclear weapon. Brilliant.

The original Cylons, Battlestar Galactica (1978)

What's not gay about Battlestar Galactica in its original '80s incarnation? The super-chromed Cylons, spangled lighting effects, and Vocoder voices are totally gay disco heaven.

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