Jess Cagle
January 11, 2018 11:30 AM

How did Sean Hayes propose to his husband, composer Scott Icenogle?

“I said to Scotty, ‘Hey, you know if we get married, there’s like a death tax thing?’ ” the Will & Grace star, 47, jokes to PEOPLE’s Editor-in-Chief Jess Cagle in the latest episode of The Jess Cagle Interview (streaming now on People TV). “He was like, ‘Oh, great. Let’s get married.’ That’s it.”

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Aside from shirking federal estate and gift taxes with their union, Hayes has much admiration for his husband since 2014.

“Scotty used to be the DJ on the Ellen DeGeneres talk show and, I spoke to Ellen and I was like, ‘Oh, he’s cute and nice and seems funny,'” Hayes recalls. “And it sounds really corny and cheesy to say it, but I saw him and I knew that that’s the type of person I need to be with because — this is the corny part — because I know he’ll make me better, and he’s a very grounded, stable person and I’m a crazy actor.”

RELATED VIDEO: How Sean Hayes Came out to His Family and Overcame His Mom’s Painful First Response

The Emmy winner has even been able to collaborate with Icenogle professionally.

“He redid the music for Will & Grace,” Hayes says. “He composes and produces music and he did the music for a show that my company produced. It’s called the History of Comedy on CNN, and I got to perform it on the piano. That was a lovely thing, and he’s great.”

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And this past holiday season, the couple co-wrote a Nutcracker-inspired Christmas book for children called Plum.

“He’s the greatest person I’ve ever known,” Hayes gushes. “He’s the nicest, most genuine, kind, giving, caring, loving, man I know.”

  • For more on Sean Hayes, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday

Will & Grace airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.

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