Johnny LaZebnik, the son of longtime Simpsons writer and co-executive producer Rob LaZebnik, previously served as a sort of unofficial consultant when his father penned the Season 27 episode where Smithers officially came out of the closet. "It’s literally part of my DNA," LaZebnik, whose first Simpsons script aired Sunday, tells The A.V. Club. "I mean, my dad writes on the show. I hear a narrative a lot, of adults saying to me, 'When I was growing up, my parents wouldn’t let me watch The Simpsons. It was one of those no-no shows that was too adult.' And I was like, 'I really can’t relate.' I think because my dad was writing on it, he didn’t feel like he was allowed to say, 'No, not in my house.' And I think he wanted to share his life and his work with us." He adds: "I think being so deeply familiar with the show—I mean, when I’m cleaning around my house, it’s usually playing in the background. I just get on loop repeats and repeats and repeats. I know all the characters inside and out, and also growing up with those people around me, including my dad. But just that era of of comedy, it was so familiar to me and such a part of the way that I see the world, that I when I had to jump into it, I was like, 'Oh yeah, this feels like coming home.'" As for helping his dad write Smithers' coming out and penning his own episode, Johnny LaZebnik says: "It’s really funny. I have to find it—in classic dad fashion, it was one of those e-mails where it’s just a subject line and no body—and that line was, 'Do you swipe on Grindr?' From my dad. I was like, 'Perfect. This is objectively funny, getting this email.' It was almost exactly five years ago now. And it was so groundbreaking for the show to address that finally out in the open and make its stance on it, and also to state something we already knew, which was that The Simpsons loved gay people. I think Smithers does date in that episode and we get to see sort of the beginnings of him as a gay person in the world. But when we, my dad and I, talked about writing this episode, something that was important to me was to see his relationship grow and flourish and to get those intimate moments of two gay people on screen talking about being gay or dating. To have a gay romance be the A-story of a Simpsons episode, I don’t think has ever happened. And that’s what was so exciting to me.'"