“Halloween” (October 30, 1996)
Considering that every other major Must See TV sitcom did at least one gay episode, it’s surprising that NewsRadio didn’t — especially when you consider the fact that its lead actor, Dave Foley, jumped straight to NBC from Kids in the Hall, which experimented with gender and sexuality a lot more freely. This episode was as close as we could find to a real gay episode. And while it does feature Dave Foley donning drag once again, there’s a lot more weird stuff going on, including Phil Hartman’s character getting a premonition of his own death — about a year and a half before he’d die in real life. All this plus Andy Dick and Joe Rogan! Yeah, this is a weird episode!
One hundred episodes later, we return to The Nanny to find out what happens when Fran Fine mistakes a straight guy for a gay guy. This episode essentially works as an inverse to the first Nanny episode we covered, right down to Fran being horrified by a gay-seeming person being straight rather than delighted by a straight-seeming person being gay.
Watch Matt Baume’s video on LGBTQ representation on The Nanny
Watch Fran Drescher’s TikTok on why The Nanny had a gay sensibility
Read Brett White’s column “‘The Nanny’ Is a Crucial Gay Text That Must Be Preserved and Celebrated”
Episode artwork by Ian O’Phelan.
This is a TableCakes podcast.