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John Philip "Jack" McFarland is Will's best friend. He is also close friends with Grace and Karen. For most of the series, he is a struggling actor who jumps from work to work.

Biography

Jack was born in February 16, 1969 and was raised as an only child by Judith and Daniel McFarland.

Early childhood

Jack recalls that his father was discouraging and cruel to him growing up gay. Daniel once gave Jack a ball for his birthday, which he put under his shirt and told everyone he was pregnant with George Michael's baby.[1] According Jack, Daniel passed out when he came out to him, at which point he had to perform CPR.[2] Once as a kid, Jack set up a manicure stand at the end of the street and waited for his father to stop by but he never did.[3] He eventually finds out that Daniel is not his biological father, but rather a man named Joe Black, whom his mother had anonymous sex with at a pool party in 1968.[4] He writes a letter to him but finds out later that he is already dead.[5]

As a kid, he was babysat by Sissy.[6] Jack also mentions being an altar boy at Saint Margaret.[7] During elementary school, Jack got teased a lot with bullies calling him "Jack McFairyland".[8]

Meeting Will

While in high school, he befriended Will Truman, a college freshman who was still in the closet. Being proud of his sexuality, Jack encouraged Will to come out and embrace who he is, after which they became really close. Jack also confessed his attraction to Will a year later, which he politely turned down.[9] Jack later admits that he bribed the first guy Will went out with to boost his confidence.[10]

When Jack was 17, he donated sperm to the New York Family Clinic to get money and buy a leather coat. He finds out 13 years later that a nurse working at the clinic, Bonnie took his sperm, hence becoming the biological father of Elliot.

Coming Out

Although openly gay to his friends, Jack never came out to his mother, fearing she will not be able to handle having a gay son and "fall apart" if she finds out, even telling her that he and Grace were once a couple.

After Will asks him the same question Jack asked him before he himself came out ("aren't you tired yet?"), he eventually comes out to Judith on Thanksgiving on 1999.[4]

Career

Jack has become famous for switching jobs frequently (every episode in the earlier seasons), while supporting his acting career. He has become a cabaret singer[11][12][13], cage dancer[14], cater-waiter[15][16], backup dancer to Jennifer Lopez[17] and then to Janet Jackson[18], assistant to Grace[19], a candidate for the Manhattan Gay Men's Chorus[20], a sales clerk at Banana Republic[21] and Barney's New York[22], a student nurse[23], a surfer[23], a playwright[24], a novelist[25], a commercial[26] and theater actor[27], an acting teacher[28], a magician[29], a junior executive[30] and a talk show host[31] at OutTV, before ultimately being cast as the lead in the crime drama The Badge as Chuck Rafferty, a straight hard-boiled detective[32].

Jack headshot

Jack holding his head shot.

As an actor he is mentored by Zandra before he himself becomes an acting teacher, teaching The McFarland Method. Starting season five, he also runs Jacques, a one-table café in the hallway outside his front door.

Jack has stated that he loves acting because of the attention and the applause.[16] Will, Karen and Judith support Jack while he jumps from career to career and until the first season, he doesn't pay taxes.[33]

Personality

Portrayed as a confident gay man, Jack has always had a passion for acting and the theater, although his friends frequently express doubt in his abilities. He later graduates from nursing school with flying colors but still realizes that acting is what he wants to do in life.[16]

Jack is also shown to be somewhat slow, that Will claims he could not count to ten,[34] and that he still labels his shoes "L" and "R".[35] Despite this, Jack is also shown to be a creative writer as he claims he completed three short novels when he was 10, and he wrote "To Weep And To Willow: A Harlequeen Romance" which Karen loved.[25]

Strangely, Jack believes in gay rights but seemingly disdains heterosexual as well as lesbian relationships,[36] saying that "if God had intended man and woman to be together, he would've given them both penises".[37] According to Will he has the best gaydar in the tristate area.[38] On several episodes, Jack has shown a habit of expressing shock using famous celebrities with long names, such as "Holy Anne Heche Laffoon he's straight!"[20], "Britney Spears Federline, a gym!"[39], and "Billie Jean King! There are lezzies in this!"[36].

Jack is also implied to be an animal lover, being the owner of Guapo even before the beginning of the series, Klaus Von Puppy since the first season, and in the fourth season, he and Karen bought Lamar, a horse who turned out to be gay.[40] In the eighth season, Jack donated enough money to the zoo so two gay penguins will not be separated.[41]

Fandom

Jack unashamedly adores all gay icons particularly Cher, of whom he has a rare doll[42]. He meets her once during the third season, although he mistakes her for a drag queen and declares that he can "do a better Cher than [her]". Cher slaps him and leaves at which point Jack realizes who she is and faints. Cher reappears in Jack's dream as his personification of god.[7]

Jack is also a big fan of pop culture and TV, which helped him in his job as an executive at Out TV. He is a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, particularly lesbian character Willow Rosenberg[21]. He also collects clippings of celebrities' hair, including a complete collection from the four main actresses on The Golden Girls, as well as Broadway icons Bernadette Peters, Betty Buckley, Idina Menzel, and as of season seven, Patti LuPone[43]. Jack is also an active stalker of actor Kevin Bacon[44]. He, along with Grace, also loves figure skating and once even went out with Rudy Galindo[45].

Media

Relationships

Will Truman

Ep 06 01

Will and Jack wake up naked together in Dames at Sea

Will became Jack's best friend shortly after he came out. Will mentions Jack helping him through this period he considers the most difficult time in his life which he repays by supporting Jack for most of their lives.[46] Jack has confessed his attraction to Will[9], and after thinking they have slept each other during a black out, Will also admits being attracted to Jack but they decide to maintain a platonic relationship.[47] A psychic once told Will that the man he is going to spend the rest of his life with is a man named "Jack".[42]

As joke, Will often pokes fun at Jack's promiscuity, flamboyant personality and seemingly hopeless career and Jack often points out that albeit untrue Will is overweight and that he is losing his hair.

Grace Adler

Kiss it kiss it spank it

Jack and Grace doing their routine in New Will City

Grace and Jack became friends mainly because of Will. They initially expressed that they didn't have anything in common until they discovered they both love figure skating, Antiques Road Show[48], and gay porn[49] and they begin to bond.

Along with Karen, Jack frequently makes fun of Grace's physical attributes as well as her wardrobe. By the start of season three, Grace and Jack have become really close which even drove Will jealous.

Karen Walker

Jack meets Karen in the second episode of the first season and they immediately become best friends for the entirety of the series, their friendship even outlasting that of Will and Grace's. They are known for their cutesy repartee; Jack calling Karen "Kare" and her calling him "Poodle" and the exchange "Who's your daddy?" "You are." Much like Will, Karen supports Jack financially, and frequently takes him on shopping sprees, which for him, is the main driving force of their friendship due to his admittedly shallow nature.[50]

They also have a physical, borderline "sexual" relationship in which they consistently grope and make lewd remarks about each other. Although they have a lighthearted, comedic relationship, their friendship faces several obstacles, such as when Jack makes ridiculous demands from Karen in exchange for marrying her maid Rosario[51]; when Karen finds out that he has also become friends with her rival Lorraine Finster[14]; and when he tries to replace Karen after her engagement to Lyle[52]. Their relationship also go through somewhat serious turns such as when Jack finds out Karen might be pregnant[53], and subsequently finds out about her "forbidden room"[54].

Rosario Salazar

Rosario was married to Jack briefly as a favor for Karen who was desperate for Rosario to get a green card. They slept on the same bed at the maid's quarters at Karen's mansion.

Rory

Rory is an unseen friend of Jack mentioned frequently in the earlier series.[12][55][48][56]

Other romantic relationships

Main article: List of Jack's Ex-Lovers

Notes

  • Jack accidentally implied that he has a tattoo saying "I Love Will" he got because he was drunk.[57]
  • Jack attended acrylic nail school and jeweled acrylic nail school each for less than a week.[23]
  • Sean Hayes' piano skills are often utilized in Jack's performances in Just Jack, Jack 2000, Jack 2001 and others. Hayes is a classically trained pianist.
  • For his performance as Jack, Sean Hayes has been nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series consecutively from 2000 to 2006, winning the first time.

Quotes

I find that the one thing that really makes people smile is my music... or my oddly long tongue. Your choice. Bed, Bath and Beyond

Does he have a gay brother? Or better yet, does he have a straight brother who drinks a lot? Field of Queens

Peter, Paul and Mary, you are fabulous! meeting Karen for the first timeLove and Marriage

It's like all people see when they look at us are the supporting players on the Will & Grace show. on him and KarenThe Finale

Heterosexual marriage is just wrong. If God had intended man and woman to be together, he would've given them both penises. An Affair to Forget

I took an oath in front of God and my mother;
I'm here, I'm queer, get used to it!
The Buying Game

There are no straight men, only men who haven't met Jack. Girls, Interrupted

There's no shame in getting old. There's only shame in getting ugly. The Blonde Leading the Blind

References

  1. Moveable Feast
  2. Alley Cats
  3. I Never Cheered for my Father
  4. 4.0 4.1 Homo for the Holidays
  5. Sons and Lovers
  6. Women and Children First
  7. 7.0 7.1 A.I.: Artificial Insemination
  8. I Never Promised You An Olive Garden
  9. 9.0 9.1 Lows in the Mid-Eighties
  10. Fagmalion Part Two: Attack of the Clones
  11. Between a Rock and Harlin's Place
  12. 12.0 12.1 Grace 0, Jack 2000
  13. Last of the Really Odd Lovers
  14. 14.0 14.1 Homojo
  15. To Serve and Disinfect
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Speechless
  17. I Do. Oh, No, You Di-in't
  18. Back Up, Dancer
  19. William, Tell
  20. 20.0 20.1 A Chorus Lie
  21. 21.0 21.1 Love Plus One
  22. Loose Lips Sink Relationships
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Nice in White Satin
  24. The Big Vent
  25. 25.0 25.1 An Old-Fashioned Piano Party
  26. Went to a Garden Potty
  27. A Buncha White Chicks Sittin' Around Talkin'
  28. The Needle and the Omelet's Done
  29. Hocus Focus
  30. One Gay at a Time
  31. Kiss and Tell
  32. Whatever Happened to Baby Gin?
  33. Where There's a Will, There's No Way
  34. Courting Disaster
  35. The Definition of Marriage
  36. 36.0 36.1 Girl Trouble
  37. An Affair to Forget
  38. Yours, Mine or Ours
  39. The Newlydreads
  40. Whoa, Nelly
  41. Birds of a Feather Boa
  42. 42.0 42.1 Gypsies, Tramps and Weed
  43. Bully Woolley
  44. Bacon and Eggs
  45. Will on Ice
  46. The Old Man and the Sea
  47. Dames at Sea
  48. 48.0 48.1 Tea and a Total Lack of Sympathy
  49. New Will City
  50. The Third Wheel Gets the Grace
  51. Ben? Her?
  52. Fred Astaire and Ginger Chicken
  53. The Unsinkable Mommy Adler
  54. Forbidden Fruit
  55. Das Boob
  56. Sweet and Sour Charity
  57. Alive and Schticking

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