One interesting thing about the ’70s (The decade with “gusto”) is that gay men were represented on TV, but mostly it was either young straight actors playing gay men (Billy Crystal on Soap and John Ritter on Three’s Company [okay, he was a straight actor playing a straight man pretending to be gay]) or it was men who everyone was pretty sure were gay, and made occasional jokes about maybe being gay, but who didn’t really acknowledge it. (Paul Lynde, Charles Nelson Reilly, Liberace, etc.) Somebody much smarter than me can probably explain why that was. I just find it interesting, the weird mid-way points society goes through when a group is taking the (sadly) long journey from intolerance to acceptance.
An interesting side note. Wayne Newton hated Johnny Carson and continues to speak ill of him to this day. My understanding is that it dates back to the ’60s and ’70s, when Carson used to do jokes on the Tonight Show suggesting that Newton was gay and connected to the mafia, which is sort of a difficult combo to pull off.