“Alison” (May 16, 1983)

Most of you haven’t had the chance to watch Love, Sidney, the the NBC series that ran from 1981 to 1983 and which featured Tony Randall as the title character — a gay man who is out to everyone but the audience. The show features queer themes more than you’ve been led to believe, perhaps, and interestingly it’s the hourlong episode “Alison” that showcases Sidney’s sexuality by giving him a female love interest. What results is poignant, personal and more progressive than you’d expect from a broadcast network sitcom at the time. To discuss this landmark show, we are joined by Steven Capsuto, author and historian focusing on queer representation of television.

Buy the revised edition of Steven’s book, Alternate Channels: Queer Images on 20th-Century TV.

Watch the TV movie that preceded Love, Sidney, Sidney Shorr, A Girl’s Best Friend.

Read Charles Morrow’s article on Tony Randall, “Love, Lennie.”

Listen to Smart Mouth’s interview with Kheng Hua Tan about the food of Singapore.

Watch Drew’s video compilation of every LGBT joke ever on the history of The Simpsons.

Buy Glen’s movie, Being Frank.

This episode’s outro track is “Love Resurrection” by Allison Moyet: Apple MusicSpotifyAmazon Music