closet bummer



Back when James Corden was best known as Smithy from the UK show Gavin and Stacey, the late George Michael starred alongside him in a sketch for Comic Relief which would later form the origins of Carpool Karaoke.

The scene begins with Smithy (Corden) receiving a call from stand-up comedian Lenny Henry at Comic Relief who asks him to head to BBC Television Centre to help record a charity single. George Michael, who was in the car with Smithy, asks if he can join him but gets turned down on account of him being “an embarrassment”.

George argues that the reason Smithy doesn’t want him around is because he doesn’t “want to be seen with a gay man” and calls him – and Gavin and Stacey co-star Matt Horne – a “pair of closet bummers”.

What does "closet bummer" mean in this context?

Thank you
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    The Urban Dictionary, for what it’s worth, says it’s old-fashioned UK slang.
    It is quite correct, in my opinion. I haven't heard 'bummer' used like this for a couple of decades (other expressions are used instead; we haven't really become any more polite or sensitive), although it would still be widely understood.
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