animated nightlife

The Simpsons‘s Gay Bar: Mo’s, Where Every Queer Knows Your Name

I’m surprised it’s taken The Simpsons 264 seasons to turn Moe’s Tavern into Mo’s, but on last night’s episode the rebranding effort — spearheaded by an investment from Smithers, who wishes there was a gay bar that didn’t care so much about looks — had the pub proprietor worried that his clientele might think he’s a homosexual. Was it the Yelp description (“a men’s bar for the average-looking fellow”) or Moe smooching up on a purse dog named Neil Patrick Hariless? Either way, Moe embraces his new image. And diversity wins!

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  • Adam

    Once again, nothing but gay stereotypes. This is an insult.

  • Lucas

    Yeah, it seemed like they were trying to cram as many stereotypes as possible into 22 minutes. Also, it seemed like the writers had never met an actual gay person. If you were asking a right-winger what he thought gay people were, he would have written last night’s episode. Insulting indeed.

  • Barry

    I’m certainly not a walking stereotype (though I do have my moments) and I don’t know if that helps or hurts my case, but… I thought it was entertaining. I’m probably one of the few people who have seen every episode up to date. I thought this was one of their better recent episodes. Plus, it had Alyson Hannigan and Kristen Wiig as guest stars (they were involved in the other story line)!

    I don’t know many straight people who know about Tom of Finland or Lemon Party and I hope that after this episode they went to Google to look ’em up haha… I know GAY people who don’t know about that stuff. So that wasn’t a case of stereotyping.

    They had all kinds of men in Mo’s, though most of them were sort of “queeny…” If they hadn’t done a lot of over-the-top stuff it wouldn’t have had even a chance of being funny. And I believe it was funny.

    These stereotypes aren’t really negative, though there was the use of a negative stereotype later through which they made a joke about gay men being attracted to all other men. Still, I don’t believe there was much harm done. I’m sure it was all good-natured.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    Yeah, I didn’t understand the purpose of this episode. The only joke i found remotely amusing was Comic Book Gay, Comic Book Guy’s cousin.

    Lucas’ assesment of this episode was pretty accurate.

  • ChicagoJimmy

    Okay, this was the Simpsons right? Isn’t the point of the show that they deliver commentary on Americans and our pop-culture through stereotypes? Aren’t all the characters stereotypes?

    Are owners of convenient stores insulted, or cops, or teachers, or principals, or bullies, or elected officials, or comic book store owners, or any other person who is characterized by a stereotype on the show?

    If you’re offended by this type of humor/commentary perhaps this isn’t the show for you. If you accept the premise of the show, none of it was insulting.

  • Kev C

    The episode had some funny jokes, but not because of the gay characters. I think the one that made me cringe was the post-op transgender joke.

  • Lucas

    They just portrayed gay people as, well, freaks. Something to be laughed at, not something you could ever be (in the eyes of a 13 year old boy).

  • Thom Freeheart

    The Simpson’s and South Park take pride in their advocacy of gay equality through their shows and explain that the gay stereotypes are for the sake of humor only. But I have to ask, would they ever do the same with black stereotypes?

  • KevinVancouver

    HOLY FUCK PEOPLE ….build a bridge and get over yourselves.. it’s a cartoon, The Simpsons… They were one of the first shows as far back as I can remember that featured gay characters as normal fixtures in everyday society, as normal as Springfield can be… i found it to be one of the more entertaining of the past seasons.. everyone is soo fuckin uptight just take the time to have a chuckle and relax life is too short … I saw nothing at all wrong with this …

  • Adam

    @ChicagoJimmy: The problem is that all those groups you mentioned aren’t oppressed, killed, and hated for who they are, have all their rights, and have many representations in media and popular culture. Gays simply do not.

    I’m not against humor and poking fun at the gay community, but there isn’t enough representation of all of us to make constant portrayals like this OK. And especially since most societies the world over, including the U.S., continue to be extremely homophobic, it doesn’t make sense to just brush this off.

    Lucas mentioned that this is something a right-winger would. BUT it’s clearly something that supposedly liberal, pro-gay people do. So what does that say about us and the people who support us? That this is how they really think of us? Yes.

  • Casey

    Everybody Vogue!

  • sam

    I’m sorry. I’m a big nelly queen, and I found this quite the funny.

    Everybody vogue!

    If somebody watches this and laughs at us homos… they’d laugh at us without the simpsons.

    If somebody watches this and loves us homos… will this change their minds?

    It’s the simpsons ffs. Just have a chuckle

  • randy

    Honestly, I think that ANY reference to gay men is going to get complaints from the usual bitter old queens. ARe you really offended about a joke that gay men wash their hand in a bar bathroom? Is that really so horrible to think that gay men are a bit more concerned about their health than the average joe six-pack? For some people I guess it is.

    And if you don’t think that gay men actually make distinctions between other gay men based on looks or abs, you are living in fairyland.

    Others are right — the Simpsons makes fun of everyone and everything. I’m sure all of you were deeply deeply offended by their sterotypes of Japan, France and Brazil when those countries were depicted. How about those hillbillies Clitus and the family?

    If you are that offended by their humor, you have no reason to even watch the show, but I saw the cartoon as affectionate and very accepting. Marge, Homer, and the guys had no problems being around gay men — isn’t that the best message to send?

    I’m sure some of you were Very Deeply Offended by Moe-as-politician dressed like Harvey Milk, but I found it quite funny.

  • randy

    I can’t wait until next year, when the Simpson’s does another episode on gay men, and this time it will be about gay men who object to any depiction of themselves on tv as offensive and stereotypical.

    Because, you know, gay men are never like that.

  • Josh in OR

    Wow…the reactions here have me thinking of the episode of Family Guy where two people listening to one of Peter’s thoughtless but somehow thoughtful rants have the following discussion:

    Man 1: What?! I’m offended!!! I’m going to DO something about this!
    Man 2: There’s nothing you CAN do…
    Man 1: Aww…I guess I’ll just have to get a sense of humor, then…

    Seriously, people…the Simpsons has been a very public, very supportive show towards gay people for a long time now. This episode was so much better than the show has been in a while, and the point – that a man who pretty much hates everyone can come to love that which he hated, that his cruelty and manipulation of them was wrong – man, that was great! And all you people see is the gay jokes…do you never laugh at yourselves? Do you never watch a drag queen or gay comedian perform anything ever? If this offends you, then buddies, you’re no better than a Christianist getting offended at being told anything logical, factual or real.

  • Hank

    @Thom Freeheart: South Park pokes fun at black people all the time. They go after just about everyone. I’m not sure if they’ve actually left anybody out…

    The Simpsons, on the other hand, not really. I’m sure they’ve made a few quips, but nothing too bad. But in the end, they’re just jokes. And there isn’t any hate behind them.

  • Jake

    I had to laugh, because the name of our gay bar here in Muskegon, MI actually IS called Mo’z!

  • Randall

    That was the most Out I’ve ever seen Smithers. Usually they just insinuate that he’s gay.

  • Queer Supremacist

    @Adam: This show is crap. It used to be a brilliant show. During Clinton’s first term in office. Now it’s the Norma Desmond of television, deluding itself that it’s still a hard-hitting satire when it’s turned into Family Circus for Democrats.

  • testington

    wow what is everybody complaining about? It was a harmless episode that actually is fairly progressive in that it is about blue collar straight people being accepting of gay people. And no actually they didn’t just show stereotypes, Smithers and Patty are both multi-dimensional characters that have been on the show for years and being gay is only part of who they are. And I don’t think that new chubby gay guy who was hitting on Moe was like any character I’ve ever seen before. This is a cartoon that airs during the Family Hour of prime time TV

  • testington

    Nicky Minaj sucks, her rap skills are really overrated and her trading on the bisexual thing just to get publicity is really offensive. It degrades all true bisexuals for the media to be promoting a woman who is just saying things to play into straight male porn style girl on girl fantasies.

  • Jeffree

    @Testington: Are you saying Nicky Minaj shouldn’t be allowed to chill out at Mo’s bar? That’s just unkind :-)

    [Just kidding! I too have crossposted here. I posted something like “I love her clothes and music!” on a thread about Maggie Gallagher!
    I think….]

  • Lucas

    Hmm, I thought more people would agree with me. I guess not.

    For the record, I am not a bitter old queen, and I’m usually the one who has relatively thicker skin. Usually, I have a good sense of humor; maybe if this episode were actually funny, I’d be complaining less.

  • missanthrope

    “wow what is everybody complaining about? It was a harmless episode that actually is fairly progressive in that it is about blue collar straight people being accepting of gay people. And no actually they didn’t just show stereotypes, Smithers and Patty are both multi-dimensional characters that have been on the show for years and being gay is only part of who they are.”

    The critique is that of the un-regular characters were one-dimensional stereotypes. And you can have a show about blue collar guys accepting gay people w/o stereotypes. The writers probably just didn’t give a shit and took the easy way out, like Family Guy does.

  • Franky

    I found it pretty funny. Especially the rejections at the hot gay club across the road. Overall it was an ok episode but it did have some funnier moments. Mind you I’m really hard to offend, especially when compared to some people on here apparently.

    Someone else has said that this part before but, everyone on this show is some form of stereotype. People can’t use stereotypes of gay men just because we’re under-represented on TV? Apu is one of the only Hindu characters on all of North American television, even counting “token” characters. Sure his character has been more fleshed out over the years but he’s still one of the very few. He’s barely even on the show these days.

    People can’t use stereotypes because gay people don’t have all of our rights and are prosecuted around the world? It’s true that it’s likely that we’re one of the more persecuted groups in the world right now but how the hell does that mean that people can’t use stereotypes of us on TV?

    I swear, some people just love complaining about every little display of homosexuality on TV. If we get a gay character in a leading role, he’s too queeny. If he’s not too queeny, he’s not overtly gay enough. If he gets a romantic scene, it was good enough and they should have kissed more blah, blah, blah. Howe about we try something new and try celebrating the fact that we’re gaining some victories in the field of television and film instead of bitching about every god damn thing like bitter, jaded, old queens?

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