Hayes stopped by Ellen's talk show The Ellen Degeneres Show on Wednesday (Mar. 14) to promote the current season of Will & Grace. The interview started off fine with Hayes congratulating Ellen on having her talk show for 15 years, while at the same time constantly calling her "Helen" instead of her actual name. Ellen returned the favor by asking Hayes how long he had been on Will & Grace before the show was canceled.
The actor tried to return the barb by saying Ellen's sitcom Ellen was canceled first but the talk show host came back with the winning line, "I had to come out first for y'all to do that sitcom." *CUE THE RIMSHOT HERE*
Hayes fell into a hysterical fit of giggles because it's harsh but true. Ellen came out on her sitcom in 1997. The sitcom was immediately canceled due to backlash, but the historic moment paved the way for shows like Will & Grace to tell the stories of homosexual people on broadcast television.
Will & Grace airs Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC.