Guest who? Flamboyant Jack McFarland (Sean Hayes) races from the room when best friend Will Truman (Eric McCormack) announces Jack’s mom Judith is joining them for Thanksgiving dinner. “I don’t think I’ve seen him this upset since they hired a female urologist at the free clinic,” says Will’s ex-roomie Grace Adler (Debra Messing).
Chickening out: Will learns Jack hasn’t told Judith (Veronica Cartwright) he’s gay, so at dinner, Will asks each guest to state what they’re thankful for and to share a secret. Jack loses his courage and retreats to the balcony, where Will reminds him how Jack coaxed him from the closet in college.
WILL: You pulled me aside and you said, “Aren’t you tired yet?” And I was tired. Tired of actually reading Playboy for the articles. Tired of keeping my Bette Midler albums in Led Zeppelin sleeves. You took me to clubs and introduced me to people. Made me realize what I’d been missing by not being myself. And I’m thankful for that.
JACK: I also taught you how to dance without pointing all the time.
WILL: And I’m thankful for that. Now here’s my secret: I admire you, Jack. Because you are more yourself than anyone else I have ever known.
JACK: Will, look, I appreciate what you’re trying to do, but you don’t understand. My mother will fall apart –
WILL: Jack. … Aren’t you tired yet?
Confessions: When Jack finally tells a stunned Judith the truth, fellow guest Karen Walker (Megan Mullally) rushes to comfort her: “Honey, I think you’re missing the silver lining here. When you’re old and in diapers, a gay son will know how to keep you away from chiffon and backlighting.”
Confessions, Part II: Weepy Judith tells Jack she wants him to be happy (“You’re what I’m most thankful for in the whole world”), then shares her own secret: “The man you think is your father is not your father.”
“Mother, if your explanation doesn’t end with the phrase, “born in a manger,” I’m going to be violently ill,” Jack says.
Who’s your daddy? Judith isn’t sure who Jack’s biological father is (“It was the ’60s.”). After dinner, Jack tells Will he plans to track down the mystery man. “I just hope when I find him he doesn’t wear a black helmet and speak with the voice of James Earl Jones,” Jack says.
Lifetime is scheduled to show “Homo for the Holidays” tonight at 11:30. The episode is also part of the “Will & Grace: Season Two” DVD set.
From the Pages of TV Guide
Also airing Nov. 25, 1999:
8:30 NBC Just Shoot Me (CC) – Comedy
Maya and Elliot go on what may or may not be their “first date” and are accompanied by Maya’s annoying former assistant (Cheri Oteri), who further complicates matters. Kim: Robin Nance. Maya: Laura San Giacomo.