Billy Eichner Q&A: ‘Billy on the Street’
After the disappointment of not getting an Emmy nomination last year, Billy Eichner decided he would let himself relax on this summer’s morning of the Emmy announcement. In our recent interview (watch the exclusive video above), he reveals, “I happened to be shooting the next season of ‘American Horror Story’ and we had a late shoot the night before. I’m exhausted and if there’s a reason for someone to get in touch with me, I’m sure they will.” But Eichner found himself waking up 20 minutes before the unveiling and found out he got nominated right away.
Eichner says the nomination for truTV series “Billy on the Street” means a lot to him because the show “is my baby. I’ve been doing it for over 10 years and its taken a lot out of me: physically, creatively and vocally.” He also added that most of the people who work on the show have been with it since it first premiered on television in 2011.
He has now scored his first nomination for Best Variety Sketch Series. Eichner was previously nominated as Best Game Show Host at the Daytime Emmys in 2013. He was also nominated at the Primetime Emmys two years ago for Best Short-Format Live-Action Program for a piece he did with First Lady Michelle Obama. For this year’s ceremony, he is up against “Documentary Now,” “Drunk History,” “Portlandia,” “Saturday Night Live,” and “Tracey Ullman’s Show.”
Eichner chose to submit the season opener featuring Emmy Award winner Jon Hamm as his celebrity guest. Among the skits on that episode were “Would you have a threesome with me and Jon Hamm,” “Immigrant or American” and “Quizzed in the Face: Express.” He believes it’s a good submission due to its broad appeal and that “Immigrant or American” is one of his favorite bits of the season. He also likes it for how game Hamm was to go along with anything that came up: “We’ve had an insane roster of celebrity guests over the years but Jon Hamm may have been the celebrity who engaged most with people on the street.”
Eichner is also starring on the Hulu comedy series, “Difficult People,” which is returning for its third season on Tuesday, August 8. Eichner stars on the show alongside creator Julie Klausner. I asked him how long he’s known Julie and he replies, “It’s funny. People think I’ve known Julie since I was a kid because we have such a shared sensibility and work off of each other so well. I got familiar with her via social media six or seven years ago.” The two became familiar with each other’s work and were looking for ways to collaborate down the road. When “Billy on the Street” became a full-length series, Klausner was one of the first people he called to work on the show. Several years later, Klausner told Eichner about a pilot she was writing and asked if he was interested in being a part of it. He told her yes without even reading the script and that is how “Difficult People” came about.