Art imitates life sometimes, too, and TV's The Simpsons is no exception. Even though Smithers coming out is one of the most expected—and looked forward to—moments in the series' recent history, the making of this particular episode is a touching story of a father's unconditional love for his gay son.
“I am a Midwestern guy, so I don’t tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve," Rob LaZebnik, a Simpsons writer and producer for more than 15 years, told the New York Post. "But I thought, ‘What better way to tell my son I love him than to write a cartoon about it?’”
LaZebnik said he wanted to out Smithers officially for years, and he even showed an early version of the script to his son Johnny, 21, who has already been out to his parents for some time. “I was really happy that someone who has experience with a gay person in their immediate family was writing the script,” his son told the Post.
"Sometimes, TV can have a real impact on people’s thinking,” LaZebnik added, “and I certainly hope it will have an impact on my son’s dating life —not that he needs help!”
That is one proud papa!
The much-anticipated episode, entitled "The Burns Cage," airs this Sunday, April 3rd at 8 P.M. (EST) on Fox.