SMITHERS' SEXUALITY V2.0

Compiled & Maintained
by
Dave Hall (davehall@cyberspc.mb.ca)
(Updated March 24th, 1996)
(Note some observations were edited for this document.)


INTRODUCTION

Whether be it gay, burnsexual, or a sycophantic side-kick, Smithers' sexual preference is often debated on alt.tv.simpsons. Although it is unlikely the writers will ever give us a true confession, the following is a list of Smithers' innuendoes.


WHAT PEOPLE ON THE SIMPSONS STAFF HAVE TO SAY

Harry Shearer:
Allison Breyer says Harry Shearer recently came to speak at the University of Georgia. At the end of his presentation, someone in audience asked if Smithers was gay. Shearer replied that according to the writers of the show, Smithers and Burns were "just friends."

Yeardley Smith:
Kerro explains when Yeardley Smith was in Melbourne, Ms. Smith was asked if Smithers was gay. Ms. Smith said it didn't start out that way, but somewhere along the line, the writers just started throwing in homosexual references for no particular reason. And they intend to keep doing so as well. As Jerry Seinfeld would say, `not that there's anything wrong with that!'

David Silverman:
Aaron Varhola, who attended David Silverman presentation in San Francisco, says: Someone asked if there were any gay characters. Silverman said `Smithers, and Karl (Homer's secretary from 7F02)". End of story.

INNUENDOES/GENERAL WEIRD BEHAVIOUR FROM THE SERIES

[7G07] ``The Telltale Head''
When Burns is overcome with emotion, he tells Smithers that he loves him. Smithers replies, "The feeling is more than mutual, sir."

[8F04] Homer Defined
During the nuclear meltdown scare, Smithers makes Burns' last few moment on earth socially awkward by confessing his love for the old man.

Velveeta adds: When SNPP is about to suffer catastrophic meltdown. Burns remarks "I guess there's nothing left but to kiss my sorry ass good-bye." Smithers asks, "May I, sir?"

[8F09] Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk
Burns informs Smithers that he named his queen bee after him.

Dmitri G. Brengauz poses a subtle connection/parallel between the last Sherlock Holmes story and the Burns/Smithers phenomena:

In ``His Last Bow'', Holmes retires and becomes a beekeeper in much the same way Burns does in 8F09. (Both were later coax out of retirement.) Both stories dealt with Germans. The fact that Burns names the queen bee after Smithers is an expression of a long time friendship and service is similar to how Holmes views his relationship with Watson, a loveable but dim-witted sidekick. However, the fact that Smithers stands for a long time braving the bee stings seems to indicate that his motives are far from pure.

[8F17] Dog of Death
When Burns asks Smithers what he thought if he started sniffing his crotch and slobbering all over him. Smithers replies, "If you did it, sir?"

[9F04] Treehouse of Horror III
When Burns asks Smithers what he thought about hiring Marge, Smithers says, "I think women and _sea-men_ don't mix." Burns replies, "We _know_ what you think!"

[9F05] Marge Gets a Job
When Burns fantasies about Marge, he asks Smithers about that dream where you're in bed and they fly in through the window. Smithers groans, imagines Burns himself flying through his bedroom window. Smithers says, "You've been reading my wishbook, sir."

[1F01] Rosebud
Smithers imagines a naked Burns jumping out of a cake and singing "Happy Birthday, Mr. Smithers."

Later, in trying to cheer-up Burns, Smithers dresses up in a bear suit and asks Burns to hug him, squeeze him and at his fur.

Tony Stott suggests we should listen to the groan Smithers makes when Burns collides into him while hanging between the Simpson and Flanders homes.

[1F03] Marge on the Lam
When Burns and Smithers attend the ballet, Burns says, "Bah! Far too much dancing, not nearly enough prancing!" To which, Smithers replies, "A little mincing would be nice."

[1F05] Bart's Inner Child
At the "Do What You Feel" Festival, Burns fails to hear Smithers confession of love for him. Afterwards, Smithers quitely says, "Oh, who am I kidding? The boathouse was the time!"

Robert Bolyard explains: A boathouse is the place in many "stories" of homosexual encounters. Males are changing into/out of swim suits, things pop up, and it's a convenient ice breaker, so to speak.

John Eue adds: Smithers' comment that "the boathouse was the time" may have been a reference to E.M. Forster's "Maurice." In the book (and the Merchant Ivory film), Maurice fulfilled his yearning for a virile young groundskeeper in the boathouse of a college friend.

[1F12] Lisa vs. Malibu Stacey
When Lisa seeks Smithers for help in contacting the inventor of Malibu Stacey, Smithers gets the information from his home computer. When he turns the computer on, the computer screen shows a nude Burns that utters in broken English: "Hello, Smithers. You're quite good at turning me on."

[1F20] Secrets of a Successful Marriage
In a flashback, Smithers explains why he "couldn't keep his marriage together."

Michael Schwartz explains: Smithers' flashback is a reference to Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", about a husband (Brick) who is having difficulties with his wife (Maggie) because he is gay."

[1F21] Lady Bouvier's Lover
In this episode, Smithers basically shows a lot of resentment towards Burns courting Marge's mother. When Burns asks for help in composing a love letter, Smithers recites "`Darling one, read my words and hear my heart speak of a love soft and undying: a love that will be with you always. Sincerely,' yatta, yatta, yatta." Burns asks how he thought it up so fast. Smithers cries, "I sent it to you on your birthday! [sob] Excuse me, I have something in my eye!"

[2F02] Sideshow Bob Roberts
Smithers makes a comment that Sideshow Bob's ultra-conservative views conflicts with his .

[2F08] Fear of Flying
When a record thrown by Moe hits Smithers in the head, Smithers appears to get excited when he sees the record's title "It's raining Men."

[2F20] Who Shot Mr. Burns? - Part Two
During his confession, Smithers mentions he once tried to march in the St. Patrick's Day parade.

It was pointed out by several people that some cities in the US have managed to ban homosexual groups from marching in the parade.

[3F06] Mother Simpson
When Burns and the police arrive at the Simpsons house, Burns discovers Smithers had recorded over his tape of "Ride of the Valkyries" with a recording of ABBA's "Waterloo".

Benjamin Fan: It's a stereotype that gay people really like ABBA. It's more of an in-joke or sly reference since most people not cued in to the gay scene would miss it.

[3F14] Homer the Smithers
Smithers goes on vacation to a resort where "taking pictures" is forbidden.

Bvuckmas provides the following list about Smithers' trip:


OTHER OBSERVATIONS/COMMENTS

Alex Werner:
My girlfriend discovered that Waylon Smithers anagrams to "wants him sorely."

Haynes Lee:
In the Globe and Mail there was 5th column office politics article about sycophants in the workplace. It mentions Smithers as a prime example.

Andrew Johnston:
Our man Waylon Smithers is featured on the cover of an issue of GENRE, a gay lifestyles magazine. The cover line: "Is Waylon Smithers...you know...one of US?" There's an amusing article inside, as well as an "interview" with Smithers. The magazine mentions that the Official Simpsons Website once described Smithers as "part of a select 10% of the population", which I did not know.

This page is copyrighted © 1996 David Hall / davehall@cyberspc.mb.ca