Acting Out is the 14th episode of the second season and 36th overall. The episode has been noted for featuring a kiss between two gay men Will and Jack, one of the firsts in network television history, albeit more of a political rather than romantic kiss.[1][2]

For his performance on the episode (and in Homo for the Holidays), Sean Hayes won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 2000.


Will and Jack appear on Today to protest NBC for cutting a gay kiss out of an eagerly-awaited sitcom episode, but to no avail as they are told that they will never see a gay kiss on network television. Will is frustrated with Jack on how much he wanted to see that kiss and kisses him. Elsewhere, Grace confides in Karen about dumping her boyfriend, who advises her to tell Josh that she's in love with Will.





  • This is the first episode that features outdoor scenes filmed on the streets of New York City. Some critics noted this has been done to add to the "realness" of the situation where two gay men actually kissed on a "real" television show in front of the "real life" figure Al Roker.[2]
  • The kiss between Will and Jack was a tongue-in-cheek reference to a real-life event that happened on The Today show with Al Roker when two men actually kissed on live television in 1999.[3] Right after the kiss, Al commented, "see, they wouldn't do that on Will & Grace."
  • Will tells Jack to "leave the silly protest to Woody Harrelson and his hemp flip-flops". Harrelson would later appear on the show in a recurring role.


Today show blooper. Two guys kiss.

Today show blooper. Two guys roker recovers


Grace:This is it, this is it! This is not it. Where's the camera going? Why are we looking at fireplace?
Jack:Get off the flames and follow the flamers!
watching television


  1. Walters, S. D. (2001) All the Rage: The Story of Gay Visibility in America. University of Chicago Press
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dalton, M. M., Linder, L. R.. (2016) The Sitcom Reader, Second Edition: America Re-viewed, Still Skewed. SUNY Press
  3. The gay kiss on “The Today Show”