Last year, my girlfriend and I were settling in to watch 50 First Dates, an immensely nostalgic film for us both due to our shared childhood crushes on Drew Barrymore, when I asked a question I’d certainly asked Google before: “Wait, is Drew Barrymore queer?”
A quick trip to Wikipedia affirmed what we knew and had somehow forgotten: Drew Barrymore is a noted bisexual. She’s arguably THE noted bisexual of the early ’00s. How dare we forget it! She came out way back in a 2003 interview, saying “Do I like women sexually? Yeah, I do. Totally. I have always considered myself bisexual.”
I was reminded of that moment this month as Barrymore, now a daytime talk show host of The Drew Barrymore Show since 2020, has emphatically burst back into queer cultural conversation in 2023 in the best way possible—and brought a much-needed light to the queer internet.
The madness kicked off with an appearance by fellow queer and The White Lotus star Aubrey Plaza in December on Barrymore’s Drew’s News podcast (part of the show) that quickly descended into what can only be described as bisexual nonsense.
“Put me to bed.”
“I will. I’m good at it too.”
“Put me to bed.”
“I always, like, hold and they get in the nook of my arm—”
“—and I hold and I pet them.”
“Yes! Oh, god, what I wouldn’t do to put you to bed.”
“I’m a hungry baby.”
“And I have everything you need.”
I’m sorry, but typing that out feels almost dirty! But Barrymore wasn’t done. This week, Poker Face’s Natasha Lyonne appeared on the show and Barrymore brought up the bit with Plaza in a segment that ended with her crawling on her knees toward Lyonne while the latter said emphatically, “I’m the daddy!”
That, dear reader, is some gay shenanigans right there. But Barrymore’s held the queer flag in other ways too, such as her extended bit as M3GAN (from the film M3GAN) when hosting an interview with the film’s star Allison Williams.
Because nothing is gayer than overcommitting to the bit. She also hosted singer Sam Smith, opening with the vital question “what does Daddy do at the body shop?”
And lusted over Tracee Ellis Ross’s thirst traps.
Time and time again, when given the option to play it straight, Barrymore has opted for absurdity. And I’m grateful that she is doing whatever she’s doing. If recent events are any indication, in 2023, Barrymore’s show is taking a pivot to a realm as weirdly camp as Wendy Williams’s show was, and even gayer than Ellen’s, filling two essential voids since both went off air last year.
Under Barrymore’s watchful eye, the show has become weird and queer and sort of horny in all the best ways, and the gay internet is better for it! So if you’re looking to brighten your day, honestly, go find any clip (though that Aubrey Plaza interview lives permanently in my head rent-free) and delight in the wackiness. Because Drew is Mommy for all of us now.