In a recent interview with The Canadian Press, Eric McCormack reflected on the role Will & Grace had on the LGBT rights movement and marriage equality in particular.

Will & Grace returned Thursday for its ninth season, 11 years after it ended its 8 season run on NBC. The show, which premiered in 1998, was the first prime time network sitcom to feature a gay lead in McCormack's uptight lawyer Will Truman and has been credited for helping advance the LGBT rights movement.

In 2012, former Vice President Joe Biden credited the series with helping advance marriage equality during an appearance on Meet the Press.

(Related: Joe Biden endorses gay marriage.)

“[He] says that as far as he's concerned, Will & Grace did more to educate the American public about gay marriage and gay issues than any other thing,” McCormack said.

“We were all phoning each other like, 'Did you hear that?'”

McCormack said that the show “snuck” in gay characters.

“We snuck in,” he said. “We were in your living room every week and, ‘Isn’t that one so funny?’ and ‘I like him.’ Old women that had never met a gay man in their life were like, ‘I hope Will finds a nice boy.’”

“It permeated American culture slowly but surely, and all the more reason that we have to come back and remind people that that’s why we got where we got – that’s why we got to a place where gay marriage was passed, that marriage equality was passed as a right in 50 states,” he added.