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The Simpsons joke about Carl topping Lenny is ‘for gay people’ says writer

Exclusive: "I’m a huge Lenny and Karl fan!" says comedy writer Johnny LaZebnik, who is behind the gag.

By Jamie Tabberer

Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Disney

In a new episode of The Simpsons, Smithers’ new beau, Michael Le Graaf, seemingly mistakes long-term Springfield residents Lenny and Karl for a couple – in a joke writer Johnny LaZebnik says is “for gay people.”

In season 33 episode ‘Portrait of a Lackey on Fire’, Dr Hibbert’s wife Bernice asks billionaire fashion designer Michael – a judge on a fashion reality show – to critique her new top.

After Michael compliments it, Lenny steps forward to ask him what he makes of his “top”. To this, Michael looks at Karl and says “very nice.”

“I was like, ‘I’m going to do a Mamma Mia! reference if it kills me”

“I’m a huge Lenny and Karl fan,” writer Johnny LaZebnik, who was behind the gag, tells Attitude’s March/April issue. “We worked on that scene a bunch of times, and I was like, ‘How can we get this joke to stay in?!'”

“There are a lot of jokes for gay people that I had a hand in getting in there,” he adds, before explaining of a scene parodying Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again: “I was like, ‘I’m going to do a Mamma Mia! reference if it kills me.

“Dad was like: ‘People won’t get the reference.’ I was like [raises voice]: ‘We’ve got a Chernobyl parody! We’re doing this!’”

Attitude’s new-look March/April issue is out now.

Meet Smithers’ boyfriend on 6th March at 7pm on Sky Showcase and catch up on previous seasons of The Simpsons now streaming on Disney+.