Of course, even a casual Simpsons viewer knows that Smithers is super gay and has been harboring a crush on his boss for nearly the show's entire 27-year run. One need only see a naked Monty Burns popping out of a birthday cake but once to really get the point not only driven home, but parked on your goddamn mental front lawn.
But Mr. Burns, being the oldest man alive, has remained either oblivious or completely ignorant to Smithers's feelings--until episode 17 of season 27. According to the episode's official synopsis:
When Smithers is devastated by Burns' lack of affection towards him, Homer makes it his mission to find him a boyfriend. Meanwhile, after Bart orchestrates the removal of the lead in the school's stage production of Casablanca, Milhouse serves as a terrible understudy, which frustrates his co-star, Lisa.
"In Springfield now, most people know he's gay, but obviously Burns doesn't," executive producer Al Jean told TV Line last September. "We deal with that in two episodes....We actually do a lot with Smithers this year; he gets fed up with Burns not appreciating him and considers his options."
Tune into The Simpsons on April 3 at 8pm on Fox to see what kind of men Homer tries to set Smithers up with--fingers crossed we get to go back to the gay steel mill!