Actor Eric McCormack spoke at length about the long-lasting impact of "Will & Grace" in an appearance on HuffPost Live.

Pointing to the series' influence on "Modern Family" and other shows which feature gay or lesbian characters, McCormack recalled, "We were creating a character of a grown-up gay man that wanted to meet the love of his life and have a marriage-like relationship."

Acknowledging that "Will & Grace" now "exists as this template...for something [that Americans] would never have understood or gone near" and citing U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's pointed reference to the show as evidence, McCormack added, "We weren't intending it; we were just intending to be funny."

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • 'The Amazing Race'

    The reality television competition has featured many openly gay contestants, but we especially loved the Beekman Boys, winners of the 21st season of the show.

  • 'Glee'

    No other mainstream show in history has brought LGBT characters and stories to the forefront of American culture in the same way that <a href="">"Glee"</a> has. From the effervescent Kurt Hummel to the quick-witted Santana Lopez and the show's first transgender character, Unique Adams, these characters' stories have ranged from coming out to dating (and sex) to bullying. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation calls "Glee" the <a href="">"most inclusive program on broadcast television"</a> in its 2012-2013 "Where We Are On TV" report. LGBT Characters: - Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer) - Blaine Anderson (Darren Criss) - Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera) - Brittany Pierce (Heather Morris) - Dave Karofsky (Max Adler) - Unique Adams (Alex Newell) - Sebastian Smythe (Grant Gustin)

  • 'Modern Family'

    <a href="">"Modern Family"</a> brought the lovable Cam and Mitch into our homes in 2009, showing the lives of a gay couple starting their own family through adoption and their (often hilarious) interactions with their extended family. LGBT Characters: - Cameron Tucker (Eric Stonestreet) - Mitchell Pritchett (Jesse Tyler Ferguson)

  • Ellen Morgan (Ellen DeGeneres) On 'Ellen'

    Before her award-winning daytime talk show, Ellen DeGeneres had her own self-titled TV series, "Ellen." In 1997, during the memorable and groundbreaking <a href="">"puppy episode,"</a> Ellen's character famously came out just days after DeGeneres herself revealed that she is a lesbian.

  • 'Will & Grace'

    <a href="">"Will & Grace"</a> depicted the unique relationship between a gay guy and a straight woman. The show featured Will and Grace (played by Debra Messing), of course, but there was another great duo in Jack (Sean Hayes) and Karen (Megan Mullally). LGBT Characters: - Will Truman (Eric McCormack) - Jack McFarland (Sean Hayes)

  • Hank Eliot (Brian Starcher) On 'As The World Turns'

    <a href="">Hank Eliot</a> became daytime television's first openly gay character when he came out in an episode of "As The World Turns" in 1988, paving the way for future LGBT characters in other soap operas.

  • 'One Life To Live'

    In 1992, <a href="">Billy Douglas</a> became the first openly gay teenage character on daytime television when he came out to his homophobic parents after they speculated their reverend was seducing Billy. Also pioneering was Zoe, a <a href="">transgender character.</a> LGBT Characters: - Billy Douglas (Ryan Phillippe) - Zarf/Zoe (Jeffrey Carlson)

  • Rickie Vasquez (Wilson Cruz) On 'My So-Called Life'

    The short-lived '90s teen drama series "My So-Called Life" brought us <a href="">Rickie Vasquez</a>, a vulnerable gay teenager who was <a href="">physically abused and kicked out of his home</a>. Rickie's English teacher, Mr. Katimski, would eventually become his foster parent.

  • 'Desperate Housewives'

    What would <a href="">Wisteria Lane</a> be without gay men to keep the ladies company? From the mischievous Andrew Van De Kamp, who'd later mature and settle down with his life partner, to Susan Mayer's charming gay neighbors, Bob and Lee, these characters added even more drama to an already drama-filled neighborhood. LGBT Characters: - Andrew Van De Kamp (Shawn Pyfrom) - Bob Hunter (Tuc Watkins) - Lee McDermott (Kevin Rahm) - Justin (Ryan Carnes) - Dr. Alex Cominis (Todd Grinnell)

  • Marco Del Rossi (Adamo Ruggiero) On 'Degrassi: The Next Generation'

    Since the second season, we've watched <a href="">Marco Del Rossi</a> on "Degrassi: The Next Generation" go through several coming out moments, fake a straight relationship with gal pal, Ellie, deal with crushes and heartbreak, and even become a victim of a hate crime.

  • 'The New Normal'

    From Ryan Murphy, the creator of "Glee," comes another show, <a href="">"The New Normal,"</a> featuring a successful gay couple who seem to have everything they want -- except a baby. The show follows the aspiring parents as they go through the surrogacy process. LGBT Characters: - David Murray (Justin Bartha) - Bryan Collins (Andrew Rannells)

  • Justin Suarez (Mark Indelicato) On 'Ugly Betty'

    Just as <a href="">"Ugly Betty" was coming to a series end</a>, the sweet and stylish nephew of Betty, Justin Suarez, came out to his traditional Latino family by slow dancing with his boyfriend at a family wedding.

  • Jack McPhee (Kerr Smith) On 'Dawson's Creek'

    The popular teen drama series, <a href="">"Dawson's Creek,"</a> introduced us to Jack McPhee in season two. McPhee struggled with being gay and in an emotional coming out, he finally confronts his father in a memorable scene.

  • Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell) On 'Pretty Little Liars'

    <a href="">Emily Fields</a> on "Pretty Little Liars" had the picture perfect high school life. She was a star athlete and had a popular, good-looking boyfriend, but Fields eventually came out to her parents. <a href=""><em>Photo Courtesy of Flickr User ekelly89</em></a>

  • On 'United States Of Tara'

    Marshall Gregson's <a href="">coming out to his parents</a> was greeted in a very nonchalant, shrug-of-the-shoulders manner -- a refreshing change of pace for coming out moments in television. Gregson is a young and impressionable gay teen who, together with his friend, Lionel, explores what it means to be a part of the LGBT community. LGBT Characters: - Marshall Gregson (Keir Gilchrist) - Lionel (Michael J. Willett)

  • Teddy Montgomery (Trevor Donovan) On '90210'

    In season two of the second incarnation of "90210," we met <a href="">Teddy Montgomery</a>, an avid tennis player who's father is a rich and famous actor. The young student athlete carries on a secret relationship with an openly gay classmate and eventually comes out to his friends after they start speculating about his sexuality.

  • 'All My Children'

    "All My Children" helped usher in a few firsts regarding LGBT characters and moments on daytime television. There was child psychiatrist <a href="">Dr. Lynn Carson</a>, who was the first lesbian character on a soap opera and Reese Williams and Bianca Montgomery, the <a href="">first same-sex couple to get married on daytime television,</a> among others.

  • 'Days Of Our Lives'

    After much anticipation from "Days Of Our Lives" fans, Will and Sonny's budding relationship went to a whole new level <a href="">when the two finally had sex</a>.

  • Terry Kimple (Voiced By Jason Sudeikis) On 'The Cleveland Show'

    Cleveland Brown discovers his longtime friend and partner-in-crime, Terry Kimple, is gay when Cleveland and his gang of friends see Terry kissing his boyfriend, Paul, at a gay bar. Seth MacFarlane, the show's creator, tackles gay marriage in the same episode, where <a href="">Terry and Paul want to tie the knot</a> and bring gay marriage to Virginia.

  • 'Rick & Steve The Happiest Gay Couple In All the World'

    There's a happy little gay community called West Lahunga Beach where the happiest gay couple in all the world lives. Their names are <a href="">Rick and Steve</a> and all the other same-sex couples --- including lesbians, Dana and Kirsten, and fellow gay couple, Chuck and Evan -- pale in comparison to their fabulous gay lives. LGBT Characters: - Rick (Voiced By Terence McFarland) - Steve (Voiced By Christopher R. Joyce) - Dana (Voiced By Misti Chamkunthod) - Kirsten (Voiced By Adrienne Pearson) - Chuck (Voiced By Shaughn Buchholz) - Evan (Voiced By John-Scott Martinez)

  • 'South Park'

    <a href="">"South Park"</a> wouldn't be the show that it is if it didn't push the envelope on social issues. The show's colorful LGBT characters included Big Gay Al and Mr. Garrison who transitioned into Mrs. Garrison. LGBT Characters: - Big Gay Al (voiced by Matt Stone and Trey Parker) - Mr./Mrs. Garrison (voiced by Trey Parker)

  • Patty Bouvier (voiced by Julie Kavner) On 'The Simpsons'

    "The Simpsons," is as American as apple pie. So when the show's creator, Matt Groening, decided to <a href="">jump into the gay marriage debate</a>, a lot of speculation surrounded which of his characters would come out of the closet and look to get hitched. That character ended up being Marge's sister, Patty Bouvier.

  • 'Teen Wolf'

    <a href="">"Teen Wolf"</a> shows a different kind of gay life in high school, one where the school doesn't just accept its gay students, <a href="‘teen-wolf’?page=1">it fully embraces them.</a> The show features a gay relationship between student athletes Jackson Whittemore and <a href="">Danny Mahealani</a>.

  • 'Spartacus: Vengeance'

    What's a little (okay, a lot) of blood and gore without some hot sex scenes to balance all that violence? "Spartacus: Vengeance" not only heats up the screen with straight characters but with <a href="">a handful of LGBT ones, as well</a>. The show features Agron and Nasir along with Barca and Pietros, all gladiators and slaves whose love affairs add compelling gay story lines. LGBT Characters: - Agron (Daniel Feuerriegel) - Nasir (Pana Hema Taylor) - Barca (Antonio Te Maioha) - Pietros (Eka Darville)

  • 'True Blood'

    According to GLAAD's 2012-2013 "Where We Are On TV" report, <a href="">"True Blood" features the most LGBT series regulars on cable television</a>. LGBT Characters: - Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis) - Pam De Beaufort (Kristin Bauer) - Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley) - Jesus Velasquez (Kevin Alejandro)

  • Max Blum (Adam Pally) On 'Happy Endings'

    Like "Friends," <a href="">"Happy Endings"</a> is about six 30-something friends navigating life together. Two big differences? The show is set in Chicago and one of the friends is gay.

  • Nolan Ross (Gabriel Mann) On 'Revenge'

    <a href="">Nolan Ross</a>, the bisexual billionaire tech genius, works as <a href="">Emily Thorne's henchman</a>.

  • Oscar Martinez (Oscar Nuñez) On 'The Office'

    Perhaps the sanest and most level-headed person at Dundler Mifflin, <a href="">Oscar Martinez</a> gave his now departed boss, Michael Scott, many opportunities to display his LGBT acceptance. Remember that scene when Michael insisted on kissing Oscar? Yep.

  • Tom Levitt (Christian Borle) On 'Smash'

    <a href="">Tom Levitt</a> on "Smash" is a gay composer who's looking to help make his old friend, stage veteran, Ivy Lynn, a prominent Broadway star. Levitt finds himself having to work with his arch-rival, Derek Wills, another accomplished Broadway composer.

  • Dr. George Huang (BD Wong) On 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'

    The long-running popular show "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" got its first gay character in Dr. George Huang. Although he didn't have a traditional coming out moment, Huang's sexuality was confirmed when he dealt with a child molester in an episode. He proclaimed that equating pedophilia with homosexuality, <a href="">"insults his humanity as a gay man."</a>

  • 'Brothers & Sisters'

    "Brothers & Sisters" took us into the family drama of the Walkers. Kevin weds his husband in season two, making it <a href="">television's first same-sex marriage between two featured characters</a>.

  • 'Queer As Folk'

    "Queer As Folk" is the pioneering show that paved the way for many others like "The L Word," "Noah's Arc" and "DTLA." One of the first cable network shows to feature a cast full of gay characters, <a href="">"Queer As Folk"</a> takes us into the lives of gay men and women in PIttsburgh. (Video may not be safe for work) LGBT Characters: - Melanie Marcus (Michelle Clunie) - Lindsay Peterson (Thea Gill) - Brian Kinney (Gale Harold) - Justin Taylor (Randy Harrison) - Ted Schmidt (Scott Lowell) - Emmett Honeycutt (Peter Paige) - Michael Novotny (Hal Sparks)

  • 'Noah's Arc'

    <a href="">"Noah's Arc"</a> gave viewers a look into the lives of gay African-American men living in Los Angeles. There's Noah, the patriarch of the group; Alex, the larger than life HIV/AIDS educator; Ricky, the loyal friend; and Chance, the UCLA professor who settles down into family life. LGBT Characters: - Noah (Darryl Stephens) - Alex (Rodney Chester) - Ricky (Christian Vincent) - Chance (Doug Spearman) - Wade (Jensen Atwood) - Trey (Gregory Kieth) - Eddie (Jonathan Julian) - Guy (Benjamin Patterson) - Dr. Junito Vargas (Wilson Cruz) - Dre (Merwin Mondesir)

  • 'DTLA'

    <a href="">"DTLA,"</a> which stars "Noah's Arc"'s Darryl Stephens, includes a multicultural cast of gay characters navigating life in Los Angeles. The cast includes Lenny and Bryan, whose long-term relationship is beginning to crumble; Marky and Matthew, a marine cadet and aspiring actor couple, respectively; Stephan and Trey, a couple dealing with their age difference; and Kai, a young teacher obsessed with hooking up with his celebrity crush. LGBT Characters: - Lenny (Darryl Stephens) - Bryan (Matthew Stephen Herrick) - Marky (Scott Pretty) - Matthew (Patrick McDonald) - Stephan (Ernest Pierce) - Kai (Hiro Tanaka) - Trey (Justin C. Jones)

  • 'The L Word'

    For six seasons <a href="">"The L Word"</a> brought lesbian storylines to mainstream attention like no other show on cable television. LGBT Characters: - Bette Porter (Jennifer Beals) - Alice Pieszecki (Leisha Hailey) - Tina Kennard (Laurel Holloman) - Jenny Schecter (Mia Kirshner) - Shane McCutcheon (Katherine Moennig)

  • 'Six Feet Under'

    <a href="">David and Keith</a>, the beloved couple on "Six Feet Under," have been through a lot. Keith helped David come to terms with his sexuality, supporting David when he came out to his family. Like any relationship, after some trials and tribulations, the two eventually settled down together, adopted two kids and lived a long, happy life with each other (in a series finale flash forward scene). LGBT Characters: - David (Michael C. Hall) - Keith (Mathew St. Patrick)

  • 'Grey's Anatomy'

    Among the roller-coaster relationships featured on "Grey's Anatomy," one of the most endearing pairs is between two women, Callie and Arizona. Before Callie got together with Arizona, Callie was involved with some of the men of Seattle Grace Hospital. <a href="">Callie and Arizona eventually got married</a> in a beautiful wedding and are raising a baby together, which is fathered by Callie's former lover, Mark Sloan, who passed away. LGBT Characters: - Dr. Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) - Dr. Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) - Dr. Erica Hahn (Brooke Smith)

  • 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'

    Vampires and gay characters have been a proven success once. Before there was "True Blood," there was "Buffy The Vampire Slayer," which featured lesbian characters and couple, Willow Rosenberg and Tara Maclay. While their powers grew, their love for each other grew as well. LGBT Characters: - Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan) - Tara Maclay (Amber Benson)

  • 'The Real World'

    One of the first popular reality television programs, "The Real World," has been serving drama-filled households filled with late teens to early 20-somethings since 1992. Producers of the MTV mainstay usually cast an LGBT person. From the memorable <a href=",0,3353974.story">Pedro Zamora</a>, who brought mainstream attention to HIV/AIDS as an activist and later passing away from the illness to <a href="">Katelynn Cusanelli</a>, who was the show's first transgender houseguest, LGBT characters helped contribute to the national dialogue on LGBT issues. LGBT Characters: - Pedro Zamora (Season 3, San Francisco) - Katelynn Cusanelli (Season 21, Brooklyn)

  • Lance Loud On 'An American Family'

    <a href="">Lance Loud</a> was perhaps not only the first realty TV star, starring in PBS's '70s show, "An American Family," but also the first openly gay person to appear on American television. People adored Loud's tenacity and spirit, someone who lived a life being true to himself. Because of this, he became a gay icon, eventually working with Andy Warhol, and becoming a writer whose work was featured in publications like <em>Details</em>, <em>Vanity Fair</em> and <em>The Advocate</em>. The late Loud, passed away from liver failure caused by a hepatitis C and HIV co-infection in December 2001 at the age of 50.

  • Laverne Cox On 'I Want to Work for Diddy' And 'TRANSform Me'

    <a href="">Laverne Cox</a> became the first African-American transgender woman to be on a mainstream reality TV series when she was on VH1's "I Want to Work for Diddy," which went on to win GLAAD's media award for outstanding reality program in 2009. Since appearing on Diddy's show, the transgender activist got her own VH1 reality series, "TRANSform Me," which got its own GLAAD media award nomination in 2011.

  • Travis Wall On 'All The Right Moves'

    <a href="">Travis Wall</a> first got on our radars when he came in second place on the popular dancing competition, "So You Think You Can Dance." Since then, the young choreographer has become a series regular on the show that made him famous, directing Emmy-nominated performances. Now, the openly gay dancer stars in his own reality show, "All The Right Moves," where he partners with his friends who are starting a brand new dance company, "Shaping Sound."

  • 'Project Runway'

    "Project Runway" could be the most LGBT-friendly "straight show" on television. Every season for the past 10, including two All-Star editions, we've seen openly gay judges Michael Kors and Isaac Mizrahi and, of course, Mr. Make-it-work, Tim Gunn. But the show's contestants are the ones who take center stage. Some prominent LGBT characters include, <a href="">Mondo Guerra</a>, who came out as HIV-positive on the show and has become a face and voice for HIV/AIDS awareness, and fellow competitor, <a href="">Nong Ariyaphon Southiphong</a>, who appeared as Andy South, and has since transitioned, living life openly as a transgender woman. LGBT Characters: - Michael Kors (Judge) - Isaac Mizrahi (All Stars Judge) - Tim Gunn - Mondo Guerra (Season Eight and All Stars) - Nong Ariyaphon Southiphong (Season Eight) - Christian Siriano (Season Four) - Rami Kashou (Season Four) - Santino Rice (Season Two)

  • 'Top Chef'

    2010 Outstanding Reality - Competition Program Primetime Emmy winner, "Top Chef," has had a handful of LGBT contestants who've gone on to become successful chefs. <a href="">Yigit Pura</a> became the first openly gay competitor to win the show and has been a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. LGBT Characters: - Yigit Pura (Just Desserts Season One) - Zac Young (Just Desserts Season One) - Dale Levitski (Season Three) - Jamie Lauren (Season Five)

  • 'RuPaul's Drag Race'

    Who could've ever imagined a reality competition with drag queens? <a href="">The groundbreaking "RuPaul's Drag Race"</a> has been serving "charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent" for four seasons now, including one all-stars edition, and an upcoming fifth in January 2013. The ultimate queen, RuPaul, brings together the fiercest queens who are competing to become America's next top drag superstar. LGBT Characters: - RuPaul - Santino Rice - Sharon Needles (Season 4 Winner) - Raja (Season 3 Winner) - Tyra Sanchez (Season 2 Winner) - Bebe Zahara Benet (Season 1 Winner)

  • 'Dancing With The Stars'

    Since "Dancing With The Stars" debuted in 2005, the hit show, which came from the U.K., has featured openly gay judge, <a href="">Bruno Tonioli</a>, and dancer, <a href="">Louis van Amstel</a>, who was paired with queer-identified celebrity, Margaret Cho, in season 11. In fact, there samba routine has to go down as the gayest dance number in the show's history (VIDEO). LGBT Characters: - Louis van Amstel (Dancer) - Bruno Tonioli (Judge)

  • 'Queer Eye'

    <a href="">"Queer Eye"</a> brought LGBT characters to the forefront of American television, with its larger-than-life fab-five cast of gay men who combined forces (like "Captain Planet and the Planeteers"!) to makeover a straight guy with their flair for grooming, food and wine, culture, interior design and fashion. The show lasted five seasons and earned a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality Program in 2004. LGBT Characters: - Ted Allen - Carson Kressley - Kyan Douglas - Thom Filicia - Jai Rodriguez

  • 'America's Next Top Model'

    The long-running <a href="">"America's Next Top Model"</a> is headed into its 20th season (or "cycle" as the show calls them) with the first-ever cast to include male competitors along with their female counterparts. From the judges to contestants, there have been plenty of openly LGBT people on the show, including <a href="">Isis King</a>, the show's first transgender contestant, who's gone on to be a prominent trans activist. LGBT Characters: - Isis King (Cycle 11) - Kim Stolz (Cycle 5) - Kayla Ferrel (Cycle 15, 17) - Jay Manuel - J. Alexander - André Leon Talley

  • 'Survivor'

    Who would've ever thought that the first winner of the pop-culture phenomenon, <a href="">"Survivor,"</a> (now in its 25th season) would be an openly gay man? Thanks to Richard Hatch, he's paved the way for other openly LGBT contestants on the show, and perhaps other reality competitions. LGBT Characters: - Richard Hatch (Season 1) - Dr. Scout Cloud Lee (Season 9) - Todd Herzog (Season 15) - Charlie Herschel (Season 17) - Spencer Duhm (Season 18) - Mark Caruso (Season 23)

  • The Carrie Diaries

  • Sex and the City