Fans of The Simpsons breathed a sigh of relief this year when Harry Shearer eventually decided to stay on board with Springfield’s finest, and it’s a good thing too because Waylon Smithers – one of the many characters he voices – is set for an eventful series 27.
The population of Springfield is well aware that Smithers is homosexual but boss Mr Burns (also voiced by Shearer) remains totally oblivious to his employee’s feelings for him.
Although that’s about to change, according to producer Al Jean.
“In Springfield now, most people know he’s gay, but obviously Burns doesn’t,” Jean told TV Line. “We deal with that in two episodes. We actually do a lot with Smithers this year; he gets fed up with Burns not appreciating him and considers his options.”
This isn’t the first time Jean has hinted that Smithers’ love life will play a big role in the upcoming series. He previously told Entertainment Weekly that the Springfield Power Plant employee would grow tired of the way Burns treated him and his affections for him would waiver.
“We have a show where Smithers realises he’s never going to get what he wants from Burns so he quits and falls in love with somebody else”, explained the Simpsons producer. “The someone else is a character that Hank [Azaria] has done on the show before, Julio, who is a little like his character from The Birdcage.”
How Mr Burns will find out about Smithers’ sexuality remains a mystery, but it’s certainly set to shake up one of the most interesting relationships the series has to offer.