Meet Paul Lynde, the Original Roger from “American Dad”

Young people: If you like the deliciously acerbic, perfectly-pitched character Roger from TV’s  “American Dad,” you should know about Paul Lynde, the comic actor upon whom Roger is based. The video below (in which Judd Apatow appears) is a serviceable introduction to the brilliantly funny Lynde.

Note too where Lynde stands in the history of gay characters portrayed on TV. It would have been so easy for a man of his talents to pretend to be someone he wasn’t. But Lynde chose a different tack, indeed, and for that is rightly considered a pioneer, if not a hero.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • Barnmaven

    My favorite Paul Lynde role? His voiceover of Templeton the Rat in the original Charlotte’s Web movie. I’ve always loved him.

  • Don Whitt

    He was so damn quick. There will never be a better center square.

  • Anonymous

    He was phenom on Hollywood Squares, but I loved him as Uncle Arthur on Bewitched!

  • Robert Meek

    Exactly! I agree a zillion percent. Fantabulous in Hollywood Squares (they wouldn’t have been what they are without him) and in Bewitched, as well.

    I always loved it when he went after Endora and she went after him, too!

  • allegro63

    He was a wonderful comic. I loved him in Bewitched and when he appeared on Matchgame or Hollywood Squares. The man was quick with the snappy comeback.

  • allegro63

    well shoot. disqus must be taking a nap, and won’t let me edit. Mr. Lynde didn’t appear on Matchgame. Why did I think that?

  • Ric

    My favorite / best memories of Paul Lynde!

  • Scott

    I dearly loved Paul Lynde when I was growing up. He’s still one of my very favorite comedians…

  • Meg

    Paul Lynde was a great comedic talent. I loved him as Uncle Arthur in Bewitched and also liked his voice over performance as Templeton.

  • Teri Cross Chetwood

    My favorite Paul Lynde line on the Hollywood Squares:

    PETER: Paul, Roy Rogers has something stuffed and mounted in his den. What is it?

    PAUL: Oh, no. Not Miss Dale!

    That one always makes me laugh.