Smithers is finally going to come out as gay in The Simpsons season 27

'We deal with that in two episodes,' says producer

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It took 27 seasons, but Mr Smithers is finally set to come out of the closet, with his sexuality set to be addressed in a two-episode special in the next season.

Smithers’ unrequited love for his boss Mr Burns has been bubbling for years now, clear to everyone except Burns himself.

According to Simpsons executive producer Al Jean, that’s about to change.

“In Springfield now, most people know he’s gay, but obviously Burns doesn’t,” he told TVLine.

“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.”

It’s amazing it’s taken this long, with The Simpsons having explored just about every plot strand you can think of in its 575 episodes.

Smithers was confirmed to return next season after contract disputes were settled with voice actor Harry Shearer. They really had to be, given he also voices Principal Skinner, Ned Flanders, Reverend Lovejoy, Kent Brockman, Doctor Hibbert and more.

The Simpsons season 27 arrives on 27 September, 2015.