What's your favorite gay portrayal or reference on classic television?
By "classic", I mean 50s-80s TV, when gayness was still "on the downlow" on TV. Not "Will and Grace" or a Roseanne episode where someone comes out of the closet. I'm looking for subtle or implied, unspoken references from the old days when it had to be hinted at or implied. Uncle Arthur on Bewitched is a good example, but do you have any more hidden gems to bring to our attention?
This doesn't have to be a character, either, it could just be a really clever line uttered or other memorable reference.
I'll start off with one of my favorites: I love the costume designer for the Tennessee Williams-like character on the Dick Van Dyke Show episode [italic]Baby Fat [/italic]. "Bow wow!"
Sidney Shorr, played by Tony Randall in [italic]Love, Sidney[/italic]
When the series was announced, NBC received complaints from special-interest groups upset about a positive portrayal of homosexuality, and so originally, nothing in the series referred to its lead character's sexuality except oblique, coded hints.
Elizabeth Montgomery confirmed that she and the writers did think of Uncle Arthur as the gay uncle. Elizabeth also said the parallel between Samantha's family having to keep their witchcraft a secret, and gays having to live secretly, was openly discussed among she and the writers. Paul Lynde adored Elizabeth but had a rivalry with the Serena character, forgetting they were the same person.
The "Yessss?" guy from 'The Jack Benny' program was a pioneering queer.
R5 Would that be Frank Nelson? The guy who was on I Love Lucy? Was he really queer? Openly?