For this season’s holiday episode the Will & Grace gang aren’t traveling to Connecticut to see Will’s family, or waiting for Barry Manilow tickets—instead they are going a little farther—like 100 years back in time.
This year’s episode, “A Gay Ole Christmas,” shows Will (Eric McCormack), Grace (Debra Messing), Jack (Sean Hayes) and Karen (Megan Mullally) traveling back in time to experience Christmas in New York in the early 20th century.
Now, the foursome aren’t jumping into a TARDIS or anything, the episode is more like imagining what the characters would be like if they existed a century ago. They aren’t the only ones to make the time jump—judging from new photos from the episode, Leslie Jordan also shows up as a paperboy.
Remember in The Muppet Christmas Carol when Kermit, Gonzo and the rest of the Muppets were living in Victorian England? It’s kind of like that, but with Jack and Karen instead of Miss Piggy and Kermit.
The Will & Grace gang also have different names when they travel back to the early 20th century. Will is Billem Van Williams, Grace is Fanny Van Williams, Karen is now Karolyn O’Malley and Jack is John Patrick McGee.
According to TV Guide, Billem and Fanny are married, and Karolyn is a dirt poor woman living in a tenement, who takes in John Patrick, a sailor who “has relationships with men only at sea.”
If you look closely in the background of the above photo you can see a painting of Debbie Reynolds, who played Grace’s mother for the sitcom’s first eight seasons.
“It’s an homage to Grace’s mother,” set decorator Peter Gurski told TV Guide. The painting was custom made for the set, and was based on Reynolds’ Oscar-nominated role in The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Gurski revealed that the painting now lives in the Will & Grace writers room.
We can’t wait to see how the besties deal with living in 1912 Manhattan—and how different it was for gay people back then. Scroll through below to see photos from the episode, airing December 5 on NBC.