The Simpsons icon Waylon Smithers shares sage advice for gay men ‘pining’ after straight men
The Simpsons icon Waylon Smithers has opened up about discovering his sexuality and moving on from Mr Burns in his “first gay interview”.
For decades, The Simpsons fans watched as Smithers not so secretly fawned over his cantankerous boss Montgomery Burns. In 2016, Smithers finally came out publicly as gay and admitted his true feelings for the villainous character.
Six years later, Smithers discussed his life in Springfield and working for his longtime crush in an exclusive interview with Attitude. The avid Malibu Stacy collector shared that he first realised he was gay after watching Karl Malden in A Streetcar Named Desire.
“I remember watching A Streetcar Named Desire and being unbelievably attracted to the hunk on screen who had such powerful, raw sexual energy – Karl Malden, who plays Stanley’s friend,” Smithers said. “I’ve had a poster of him in my bedroom ever since.”
Smithers, who has dated a couple of queer Springfield residents in the past, also had some wise words for gay men who find themselves in love with straight men.
He said others should learn from his experience and try not to “spend two decades of your life pining after someone who will never love you back”.
“No matter how often you think about him, no matter how many love letters you send, it will never be requited,” Smithers explained. “Because you will never be good enough for Karl Malden.”
But it’s not all bleak skies for Smithers as he recently found true love on The Simpsons. In a November episode of the long-running comedy, titled “Portrait of a Lackey on Fire”, Smithers blissfully entered into a relationship with billionaire fashion designer Michael de Graaf (Victor Garber).
The pair met after de Graaf visited Mr Burns’ mansion to adopt the puppy of one of his attack hounds. Homer Simpson introduced him to Smithers, and the two immediately hit it off with each other.
But Smithers told Attitude that he hadn’t been looking too far into the future, saying children aren’t in the cards for the couple.
“No, I don’t think so,” Smithers said. “If I wanted to spoon-feed someone, burp them, and change their diaper, I’d go to work.”
The Simpsons writer Johnny LaZebnik said he had a “lot of ideas” about what Smithers’ relationships would look like as he is “someone who is famously obsessed with an old man”.
“I was like: ‘I feel it would be a daddy…’” LaZebnik said.
Matt Selman, an executive producer on The Simpsons, previously told EW that the show’s writers considered Smithers’ love life as “kind of a blank slate”.
“The show has moved away from him being completely obsessed with Mr Burns all the time,” Selman said. “So it feels a little bit like Smithers is like, ‘Who am I going to be with?'”
He described de Graaf as a “charming and down to earth” man who loves that Smithers “isn’t using him to get ahead in the fashion world”.
“Smithers is a smart, hardworking, intelligent guy,” Selman said. “Michael is tired of people from the New York fashion scene where everyone has an agenda.”
He added: “He wants that middle-America regular guy who isn’t about status and fashion stuff.”
Waylon Smithers’ exclusive interview is featured in the March/April issue of Attitude, which is out now.
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