I’ll bet that for a lot of Boomers and Gen-Xers, the weekly allotment of Tripper vs. Roper laid more of the groundwork for that acceptance than they are aware of. I don't think it'll reach! Presumably he landed in Santa Monica because he was attending chef’s school.-Studies at L.A. Technical college to be a chef (“A Man Around the House,” Season 1) through the G.I. This common predicament placed both parties on the same side against the Man, the Landlord, Roper.Don’t kid yourself. I must be forgetting someone, because that seems like an awfully long dry spell for network TV (Indeed, I did forget Officer Zitelli, who came out over the last two seasons of Barney Miller in the early 80s).The dry spell seems to drive home a larger truth of our era–namely, that while just about every other previously marginalized group had broken into the mainstream well before the end of the millennium, gays had not, not even on TV, not until Ellen DeGeneres came out in the late 90s.Apres Ellen, the deluge. But he was no Archie Bunker. TV was the parallel universe where our idealized selves were projected back at us for our own edification.During that decade, we were introduced to black lead characters, Latino lead characters, outspoken feminist lead characters, career women, divorcees, elderly private detectives, handicapped detectives, obese detectives, and so on. These were all an indisputable part of the social fabric by the time Gerald Ford tripped down the stairs of Air Force One. Some dubious old Navy buddies even come to visit Jack (“Jack’s Navy Pal,” Season 3 and in “Navy Blues,” Season 7).-Jack sometimes fills in for bartender Jim in early episodes (“Stanley Casanova,” Season 2).-Over the years Jack has a lot of odd jobs, including painting the apartment building for Roper (“The Kleptomaniac,” Season 2); nude photo model (“Jack Looks for A Job,” Season 2); encyclopedia salesman (also “Jack Looks for A Job,” Season 2); babysitter (“The Babysitters,” Season 2); caterer (“A Catered Affair,” Season 3); diner cook (“Jack’s Other Mother” and “…And Justice for Jack,” both Season 5); busboy (“Room at the Bottom,” Season 5); mechanical man (“A Crowded Romance,” Season 5); personal chef (“Jack Moves Out,” Season 3); escort (“Love Thy Neighbor,” Season 4); teaching instructor/tutor (“The Loan Shark,” Season 4, “Teacher’s Pet” in Season 5, and “Professor Jack” in Season 6); and head chef at Angelino’s (“The Not-So-Great Imposter” in Season 5 and again in most of Season 6).-After years of hard work, Jack finally gets his own restaurant and opens Jack’s Bistro in Season 6’s “Opening Night.”Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. San Diego is two hours south of Santa Monica. It was Bugs Bunny vs. Elmer Fudd mano a mano in the trenches of generational warfare. The baguette he holds as a weapon is a nice touch. There are 40+ professionals named "Jack Tripper", who use LinkedIn to exchange information, ideas, and opportunities. John Ritter has been dead for ten years now (a fact that in itself is shocking). Instead, it fell all at once and was accompanied by an all night party.The 1970s were the decade of change, when the hard and unglamorous work of implementing the ideals pushed through in the 1960s took place. Even though this is Santa Monica beach in the swinging ’70s, Janet and Chrissy have a landlord who’s set in his ways, and doesn’t look kindly on this new-fangled kind of cohabitation. Statistically speaking, the younger you are, the more accepting you are. The series starred the late John Ritter as Jack Tripper, a chef who pretended to be gay in order to share an apartment with two attractive young women. He was a caricature of Archie Bunker, an impotent old man fooled by everyone carrying on behind his back while he clung to the illusion that he was running a tight ship.As for gay roles on TV, there was Billy Crystal’s Jodie on “Soap” in the late 70s, and that was it besides John Ritter’s closeted straight man role on “Three’s Company.” Other than Roseanne Barr’s moment of bicuriosity, I can’t think of any gay characters until “Will and Grace” aired in the late 1990s.

What we saw on TV is what we got in real life: minority rights, rights for the disabled and for senior citizens, women’s lib. These sandwiches are really delicious and easy to make. Maybe anti-discrimination laws played a part, I cannot say.Either way, the rest is history, and the question before us now is: Was Jack Tripper good for the gays?Sure, you could argue that Jack Tripper was a stereotype from an era when an over the top swish routine got guaranteed laughs, but John Ritter’s Jack Tripper was an ultimately sympathetic character, a gentle, relatable guy always in a bind.Jack Tripper was ahead of his time in more ways than one. They both had to live a secret life through no fault of their own. “Cyrano de Tripper” (S02E14) Stuffed Artichokes with a Rice Mold, Claret Consomme, and a garden salad with homemade dressing, chocolate mousse Chrissy recruits Jack to cook a gourmet dinner for her chef-boyfriend, who, yes, knows Raymond Oliver. Though not gay himself, Jack’s predicament on Three’s Company had the effect of aligning his winning hand with closeted gay men. But today, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s historic ruling, let us remember television’s first attempt to make gay okay way back in 1977.

Norman Fell and Audra Lindley left the series in 1979 for their own show , and were replaced by Don Knotts as the new landlord.

He graduates after four years (“Jack’s Graduation,” Season 4). All at once the barriers come down. Jack passes off dog food for this French dish, and of course Mr. Roper adores it. He was TV’s most famous culinary student in an era when Julia Child defined the TV chef persona. Though “Three’s Company” was billed as just a sitcom, every episode was a battle of wills between Tripper and Roper. Enter Mister Roper. (09/18/79) A full generation before Anthony Bourdain made restaurant cooking a cool and youthful endeavor, there was Jack Tripper showing us how it …