On April 30, 1997 — 24 years ago today – Dwight Yoakam made a memorable guest appearance on Ellen DeGeneres’ eponymous ABC sitcom Ellen, and became a part of television history in the process.
The specific episode was a watershed moment for primetime TV, one that caused national controversy when it initially aired: It was the now-legendary “coming out episode,” during which DeGeneres’ character, Ellen Morgan — and, in the process, the star herself — revealed that she is a lesbian.
The taboo-at-the-time topic changed the landscape for TV. So Yoakam, who played his role in two episodes that season (Season 4), was a small part of a very big deal in television.
Yoakam portrayed a grocery store bag boy in the episode, but he was not the only high-profile guest to appear on the landmark television show. Actor Demi Moore also guest-starred, as did daytime talk show queen Oprah Winfrey and singer k.d lang.
Yoakam has pursued a number of acting roles over the years, most notably in films including Sling Blade, Panic Room, Hollywood Homicide and more. He’s also graced the small screen in guest and recurring roles on shows including Wilfred, Under the Dome and Goliath.
Country Artists Who Have Come Out: