“I think the Emmys are more competitive than the Oscars at this point, simply because of the quality of the work that’s being done … There’s so much that it’s hard for me, even as an obsessive TV fan, to keep up with it.” says comedian Billy Eichner about the ever-expanding television landscape. (Watch our complete video chat below.)
Eichner is now part of that landscape, and he’s got two chances for nominations for two very different shows: Best Comedy Supporting Actor for “Parks and Recreation,” which signed off this year after seven seasons, and Best Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program – “whatever the hell that is” – for a special edition of his comedy game show “Billy on the Street” featuring First Lady Michelle Obama.
“I think it was back in November when the first lady’s team reached out to me and said that they were fans and that the first lady … was interested in doing a video with a particular kind of energy to promote this ‘Eat Brighter’ campaign,” says Eichner, explaining how the special came about. “She was fantastic in this episode. She was so game. Her team told us afterwards they think it’s the funniest thing she’s ever done … Whether we win [the Emmy] or not, the thing I’m most proud of is that we really kept the spirit of ‘Billy on the Street.’”
He adds, “We work really hard on ‘Billy on the Street.’ We’ve been around for a while now, so it would be a nice honor just to be nominated.” He did attend the Emmys last year for a “Billy on the Street” segment with host Seth Meyers, but he wasn’t up for an award. However, “I was a Daytime Emmy nominee a few years ago,” he says. “Anyway, I lost to the ‘Cash Cab‘ guy and then that show got cancelled, so be careful what you wish for, Ben Bailey!”
Eichner has been a fan of award shows “since I was a kid … As I grew up, I started to see things from an adult perspective. I’m in the thick of it in show business every day, whether it’s ‘Billy on the Street,’ ‘Parks and Rec,’ I have a new show on Hulu. I know more how these things work, so I don’t have the childlike innocent view of it that I once did, but I still love them.”
As an avid follower of awards and pop culture, he also has his own opinions about who should be nominated – besides himself of course. “I never felt [‘Parks and Recreation’] fully got its due at the Emmys. It would be great to see Amy Poehler back one last time,” he says, and “if Lisa Kudrow doesn’t get nominated for ‘The Comeback,’ then the whole thing is bullshit because it really is one of the greatest performances on TV ever.”
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