Stop us if you've heard this one before. On second thought, don't we know you've heard it so often that by now, you can't possibly believe it. Nonetheless, Will & Grace executive producer Jhoni Marchinko insists to TV Guide Online that at the end of the season, lovelorn singleton Will Truman (Eric McCormack) will finally hear those three magic words: You've got male.
What's more, as hard-up as Will is, Marchinko is determined to find him more than a boyfriend; she wants to introduce him to a truly significant other. To that end, she says that she and her cohorts are on a manhunt for "a good, interesting actor" and not necessarily an A-list sweetheart like onetime guest flirt Michael Douglas. "I don't think we're going to look for a big stunt. I always like it when somebody that used to be kind of famous [gets cast in a plum part]. That way, you can revive their career."
In that case, we've got three magic words for Marchinko: former child stars. C'mon, can't you just see one of these grownup moppets making Grace (Debra Messing) sorry that she didn't hold out for a dream date with Screech? If not, then by all means consider the other fellows we think could play pretty and witty and gay enough to become the show's reigning man.
Gary Coleman: Earlier this season, Jack (Sean Hayes) revealed that Will likes to stand head and shoulders above his dates and there would be no avoiding that outcome, were he to step out with the pint-sized Diff'rent Strokes star. Plus, the Hollywood has-been could also cash in one more time on his $1 million catch phrase. Altogether now: "What you talkin' 'bout, Will?"
Rick Schroder: NYPD Blue proved to be too much of a grind for the Silver Spoons golden boy, so maybe he'd prefer to walk a different beat like, say, a disco beat. Not only would the half-hour show afford the out-of-town family man a far less taxing schedule, it's sure to take full advantage of one of the, ahem, assets that he exposed as a Blue mooner: his well-toned tush.
Chad Allen: The Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman cutie would certainly be good for what ails heartsick Will. First of all, since a supermarket tab outed him in '96, he ought to have the gay part down pat by now. And, having worked with Shannen Doherty on Our House, he should be as adept as Will at trading barbs with resident diva Karen (Megan Mullally).
Scott Baio: Yeah, yeah, Joanie loved Chachi. We remember. But who here didn't think that Chachi kind of had a thing for Potsie? Nobody? Well, we still think W&G should put Charles in charge of Will. If nothing else, maybe the Happy Days heartthrob who once popularized sleeveless sweatshirts could get his uptight suitor out of those silly tops that fit like leotards.
Mario Lopez: Saved by the Bell 's resident beefcake first showed up on gaydar by making a splash in Speedos, no less in Breaking the Surface, a '96 TV biopic about Olympian Greg Louganis. Should he dive in as Will's beau, the talk-show host might find out how the other other half really lives. (Please, please, please, let him have kept the Speedos.)
Adam Rich: If W&G is so keen on resurrecting a Tinseltown casualty, poor Rich deserves the job. The ex-Eight Is Enough rugrat has been begging for a comeback for years. In fact, following a series of drug busts, he even played dead for some publicity in a Might magazine prank. Besides, after spending four years on the same set as show-tune-belting Betty Buckley, he might as well be gay.
Matt Lauer: On Tuesday's edition of Today, the hunky anchorman came out of the closet as a wannabe boy toy of Will's. And by golly, he just might be onto something, too. Playing Siegfried to Al Roker's Roy on Halloween, Katie Couric's sidekick displayed a noteworthy aptitude for flamboyance and definite pecs appeal. Book that Advocate cover now...
Eminem: Granted, hiring misanthropic Marshall Mathers to woo Will would be kind of like setting up a pal on a dinner date with Jeffrey Dahmer. But early reviews for 8 Mile suggest that the rapping gay-basher is really quite the thespian. In addition, a W&G gig would probably do at least as much to improve his relations with the pink triangle crowd as the highly homoerotic pose he's striking on the current cover of a national entertainment magazine.Which one of these fine men do you think should play Will's paramour? Vote now!