Discover more from Rerun Rewind
My Top 5 Favorite Carter Heywood Moments
This article was originally posted on my website on 3/13/23.
Every time I re-watch Spin City, I’m reminded of how much I love Carter Heywood, the longsuffering head of minority affairs at City Hall played by the incredible Michael Boatman. Carter is a dynamic gem of a character. He’s smart, sensitive, confident, and a little full of himself; he doesn’t take any crap, and he has an unbelievably adorable little dog named Rags that he treats like his baby, including dressing him up in cute little outfits.
Carter’s unique in the classic sitcom world in that he’s gay but he’s not the butt of everyone’s jokes. Of course, Stuart makes jokes about him, but Carter wittily shuts him down. There’s so much more to his character than just being the token gay guy, and Michael Boatman’s performance elevates him to a whole new level of comedy.
As a tribute to this delightful, hilarious, and loveable character, here are my top five favorite Carter Heywood moments:
#5 — Father Larry
Paul and Claudia’s wedding was fraught with problems, including Mike accidentally double-booking the ceremony with a funeral and the mayor suddenly developing a stutter. Father Larry, the priest who is supposed to perform the ceremony, had been Carter’s parish priest when he was growing up, and Carter never told him he was gay. During one of his attempts to come out to the father, Carter accidentally knocks him out.
After a wonderfully silly and touching reception where the mayor sings the wedding vows to the tune of “Copa Cabana,” the gang celebrates with a conga line. When the now revived Father Larry rejoins the festivities, the music abruptly stops, and Carter, who has been dancing with an attractive male party guest, turns to the father and delivers this epic line:
#4 — Tom Cruise
The mayor is banned from the gay pride parade after a speaking tour of the five boroughs during which he opened a speech with, “Hello, Queens!” To ingratiate the mayor back into the good graces of the gay community, Mike appoints Carter and James to write a speech. Unfortunately, Stacy forgot to give them the message, and they never wrote it.
The night before the press conference, Stacy joins Carter and James at Carter’s apartment to throw something together at the last minute, but they all suffer from writer’s block. Stacy and James decide to take a break and watch A Few Good Men on TV. Carter wants to keep working, but he relents when Stacy points out that the film features “Tom Cruise in a Navy uniform.” They all fall asleep in front of the TV, then wake up the next morning to discover that they’re late for work and they haven’t written a word. As they struggle to come up with a speech before the press conference begins, Carter cries out in a fit of rage:
#3 — Heterosexual Powers
Stuart’s gross and perverted girlfriend, Deirdre, refuses to leave the apartment he shares with Carter. She’s constantly hanging around, leaving hair in the tub, petting Rags with her feet, and just generally tormenting everyone in the apartment. Stuart is desperate to break up with her, but every time he tries, she does something sexy and he loses his nerve. After one of Stuart’s many failed breakup attempts, Carter sends him out of the room and faces Deirdre alone, confidently stating:
#2 — Chocolate Jesus
It’s Christmastime, and James has received a care package from his mother. He proudly explains that every year she makes a complete nativity scene out of chocolate, which leads to the following exchange:
#1 — Just the Bunny
On the night of the mayor’s annual costume ball, Mike accidentally inspires Stacy’s city councilman boyfriend to become a makeshift superhero named “Mr. New York.” When a man threatens to commit suicide by jumping off the roof of City Hall, Mr. New York tries to talk him down. Mike, dressed as Superman, and Carter, dressed as a giant bunny (the only costume the store had left), rush to the roof to try to stop Mr. New York before Stacy finds out what’s going on. Unfortunately, Stacy sees it on the news and hurries up to the roof in her princess costume to give them all a piece of her mind. As she’s leaving, she turns to Carter and says, “And you! You look ridiculous!” Carter responds with this epic line: