Billy Eichner

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Billy Eichner
Billy Eichner May 2014.jpg
Eichner in 2014
Born (1978-09-18) September 18, 1978 (age 44)
EducationStuyvesant High School
Alma materNorthwestern University
Occupations
  • Comedian
  • actor
  • television producer
  • screenwriter
Years active2005–present
Comedy career
Genres

Billy Eichner (/ˈknər/ EYEK-nər; born September 18, 1978) is an American comedian, actor, producer, and screenwriter. He is the star, executive producer, and creator of Funny Or Die's Billy on the Street, a comedy game show that aired on truTV. The show earned Eichner a nomination for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host in 2013. He is also known for playing Craig Middlebrooks on the sitcom Parks and Recreation, Mr. Ambrose the Librarian on the animated TV series Bob's Burgers, and Timon in the 2019 remake of The Lion King.

Early life and education[edit]

Eichner is a native of Queens and grew up in Forest Hills, the son of Debbie, who worked for a phone company, and Jay Eichner, a rent tax auditor.[1][2] He was born to a Jewish family and had a Madonna-themed bar mitzvah. He has an older half-brother.[3] He graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1996,[4] and from Northwestern University in 2000 with a BS in Theater.[5] Actor Robin Lord Taylor was his college roommate.[6]

Career[edit]

Eichner gained attention as the host and writer of Creation Nation: A Live Talk Show, a critically acclaimed stage show in New York.[7] He landed a Bravo web series called My Life on the Z-List: Jen's Vlog and was a co-host on the Bravo television pilot Joan Rivers' Straight Talk, where Rivers discussed topics with four gay men. He appeared on Conan as a special correspondent in original video shorts.[8]

In 2011, Eichner starred in the show Billy on the Street. The show initially aired on Fuse, before moving to truTV. It was created within Funny or Die, and is now available on HBO Max and the TruTV app. It had a final run of short-form episodes across digital platforms in association with Lyft. In it, Eichner goes around the streets of New York City, asking people random questions or having them compete in trivia games. He often has celebrities who compete in games or go around the streets with him.

On August 5, 2013, Eichner guest starred in the sixth season of Parks and Recreation.[9] Eichner's first episode aired on October 10, 2013. He stars as Donna's Eagleton counterpart, Craig Middlebrooks, who joins the Pawnee Parks and Recreation Department when Pawnee absorbs Eagleton.[10] He became a series regular in episode four of the seventh season of the show.

During the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards show in 2014, Eichner appeared with host Seth Meyers on the streets of New York, interviewing random people.[11]

Eichner starred in the Hulu original series Difficult People, with Julie Klausner. It was executive produced by Amy Poehler. Though originally set up for USA Network,[12] the series began airing on Hulu in August 2015.[13]

In 2016, Eichner appeared in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, released May 20.[14] In 2017, he joined the cast of American Horror Story for recurring roles in its seventh and eighth seasons.[15]

In 2019, Eichner provided the voice of Timon in Disney's live action remake of The Lion King, from director Jon Favreau.[16][17] Eichner said that Timon "[is] such a great role that allows you to do so much. But... the bigger the project and the bigger the names that you're working with, the more you have to ignore it. If you get to the soundstage and you're thinking, 'Oh my God, what a full-circle moment! Nathan Lane did it originally! Beyoncé's in this!' then you're paralyzed creatively. You just have to put that out of your head in order to get the job done."[18]

In July 2020, Eichner announced that he and Tom McNulty were developing a film biography of fellow Northwestern University alum Paul Lynde called Man in the Box, with Eichner portraying Lynde.[19]

In March 2021, Eichner announced that he was writing and starring in the film Bros, which tells the story of two gay men with commitment issues who decide to settle down with each other.[20] In August, Amazon Studios announced that they had bought the rights to develop the film Ex-Husbands, starring Eichner and co-written by him and Paul Rudnick.[21] Bros was critically well-received but a box-office disappointment, which Eichner attributed to "straight people, especially in certain parts of the country" not going to see the film.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Eichner is Jewish[23] and gay.[24][25][26] He lives in Los Angeles.[27]

Politics[edit]

Eichner is a Democrat. On February 1, 2018, Eichner announced a new initiative called Glam Up the Midterms, during that night's episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, in conjunction with Funny or Die and with the support of several late night hosts including Sarah Silverman, James Corden, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O'Brien, John Oliver, Chelsea Handler, Robin Thede, and Andy Cohen. Glam Up the Midterm's purpose was getting people to vote in the November 6 midterms, especially millennials, of whom only 12% voted in the previous midterm election.[28][29][30][31] Eichner joined the progressive political organization Swing Left as senior advisor starting in 2019[32][33] and endorsed Elizabeth Warren in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries.[34]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2008 What Happens in Vegas Band Leader
2010 The Charlie Sheen Is Too Damn High Timmy McMillan Short film
2013 Glitter and Ribs Taylor Swift Short film
2014 Penguins of Madagascar New York Reporter (voice)
2015 Sleeping With Other People SLAA Speaker
2016 The Angry Birds Movie Chef Pig / Phillip (voices)
2016 Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Oliver Studebaker
2018 Most Likely to Murder Speigel
2019 The Lion King Timon (voice)
2019 Noelle Gabriel Kringle
2022 Bros Bobby Lieber Also writer
2024 Mufasa: The Lion King Timon (voice)

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2006 Joan Rivers' Straight Talk Himself (co-host) Unaired Bravo pilot
2011–2017 Billy on the Street Himself (host) Also creator and executive producer
2013–2015 Parks and Recreation Craig Middlebrooks 17 episodes
2013–2021 Bob's Burgers Mr. Ambrose (voice) 13 episodes
2014 The Millers Leon Episode: "Movin' Out (Carol's Song)"
2014 New Girl Barry Episode: "LAXmas"
2015–2017 Difficult People Billy Epstein 28 episodes
2015 The Awesomes The Gayfather (voice) Episode: "The Gayfather"
2016 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Himself Episode: "Retirement Plans and Financial Advisors"
2016 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Himself Episode: "Kimmy Meets a Drunk Lady!"
2016 Hairspray Live! Rob Barker Television special
2017–2019 Friends from College Dr. Felix Forzenheim 13 episodes
2017 Carpool Karaoke: The Series Himself Episode: "Billy Eichner & Metallica"
2017 American Horror Story: Cult Harrison Wilton 6 episodes
Tex Watson Episode: "Charles (Manson) in Charge"
2018 RuPaul's Drag Race Himself Episode: "Cher: The Unauthorized Rusical"
2018 American Horror Story: Apocalypse Brock 3 episodes
Mutt Nutter 3 episodes
2018 The Simpsons Billy (voice) Episode: "Krusty the Clown"
2018 Family Guy Himself (voice) Episode: "Pawtucket Pete"
2019 Green Eggs and Ham Captain Walter Bigman (voice) Episode: "Boat"
2020 Jimmy Kimmel Live! Himself - Guest Host 2 episodes
2020 Mariah Carey's Magical Christmas Special Elf Billy Christmas special
2021 Impeachment: American Crime Story Matt Drudge 3 episodes
2021 Dickinson Walt Whitman Episode: "This is my letter to the World"

Web[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2007 My Life on the Z-List: Jen's Vlog Jen BravoTV.com, associated with Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List
2018-2019, 2022 Billy on the Street Billy Web continuation of the series

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2013 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Game Show Host Billy on the Street Nominated [35]
2015 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program Nominated [36]
2016 Webby Awards Online Film & Video: Comedy, Individual Short or Episode Won [37]
Dorian Awards Wilde Wit of the Year Nominated [38]
2017 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Variety Sketch Series Nominated [39]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kamp, David (October 5, 2015). "Billy Eichner Is Only Shouting Because New York Is Loud". HWD. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  2. ^ "Billy Eichner is Here to Fight Hollywood Homophobia and Fulfill Your Gay Rom-Com Dreams". August 31, 2022.
  3. ^ "18 Things to Know About Billy Eichner". Alma. July 26, 2019. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  4. ^ Larson, Sarah (May 23, 2016). "Billy Eichner's Comedy of Confrontation". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  5. ^ "Billy Eichner Biography". Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  6. ^ Wagner, Curt (October 5, 2014). "Robin Lord Taylor walks the walk as Penguin in 'Gotham'". RedEye. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  7. ^ Calhoun, Ada (May 15, 2005). "Hey Gang, Let's Put On a Twisted Talk Show". The New York Times. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  8. ^ "Team Coco Heads To The Superbowl! [sic]". teamcoco.com. February 3, 2012. Archived from the original on May 31, 2020. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  9. ^ Evans, Bradford (August 5, 2013). "Billy Eichner to Play Donna's Doppelganger on 'Parks and Rec'". Splitsider. Archived from the original on September 30, 2017. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  10. ^ Furlong, Maggie (October 10, 2013). "Billy Eichner On 'Parks And Recreation' – And Every Other Show Ever, Please (PHOTOS)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  11. ^ Shorey, Eric. "Billy Eichner and Seth Meyers Harass New Yorkers About The Emmy Awards". thebacklot.com. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
  12. ^ "Hulu Orders Amy Poehler's Difficult People Starring Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner". Hulu. Archived from the original on August 31, 2015. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
  13. ^ "Watch the First Difficult People Teaser -- Vulture". Vulture.
  14. ^ Kroll, Justin (September 24, 2015). "Billy Eichner Joins Cast of 'Neighbors 2'". Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  15. ^ Stack, Tim (March 28, 2017). "'American Horror Story': Billy Eichner Cast in Season 7". EW.com. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  16. ^ Galuppo, Mia (April 25, 2017). "Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner in Talks to Voice Timon and Pumbaa in New 'Lion King'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  17. ^ @Disney (November 1, 2017). "#TheLionKing. 2019. 🦁👑" (Tweet). Retrieved November 3, 2017 – via Twitter.
  18. ^ What To Expect From The Characters In The Upcoming 'The Lion King' Adaptation - Entertainment Weekly. Entertainment Weekly. April 25, 2019. Retrieved April 29, 2019 – via YouTube.
  19. ^ Mike Fleming Jr. (July 21, 2020). "Billy Eichner To Play Paul Lynde In 'Man In The Box', About Gifted Actor Stigmatized For Being Gay: Why Eichner Feels Things Haven't Changed, Gay Actors Still Excluded From Straight Roles & Even Playing Gay Icons". Deadline. Retrieved June 17, 2021.
  20. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (March 5, 2021). "Billy Eichner's Romantic Comedy 'Bros' to Debut in Theaters in 2022". Variety. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  21. ^ Justin Kroll (August 3, 2021). "Amazon Studios Lands Hot Package 'Ex-Husbands' From Berlanti/Schecter FIlms, Billy Eichner and Paul Rudnick". Deadline. Retrieved August 25, 2021.
  22. ^ Sharf, Zack; Earl, William (October 3, 2022). "Why Did Billy Eichner's 'Bros' Bomb at the Box Office? Straight People Aren't Entirely to Blame". Variety. Retrieved December 28, 2022.
  23. ^ Kensky, Eitan (March 14, 2013). "Billy Eichner Is the Funniest Man on the Internet". The Jewish Daily Forward. Archived from the original on January 2, 2014. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  24. ^ Kamp, David (November 2015). "Billy Eichner is Only Shouting Because New York Is Loud". Vanity Fair. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  25. ^ Fallon, Kevin (February 12, 2013). "How 'Billy on the Street' Host Billy Eichner Hit the Mainstream". The Daily Beast. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  26. ^ Peikert, Mark (May 27, 2009). "Billy Eichner: Gay, White, and Terrified!". Backstage. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  27. ^ Sandberg, Bryn (May 4, 2020). "How I'm Living Now: Billy Eichner, Actor and Comedian". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
  28. ^ "Billy Eichner, John Oliver, Andy Cohen, and More Are Joining Forces to Glam Up the Midterms". Vogue. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  29. ^ Hamilton, Isobel. "Billy Eichner is on a mission to make the mid-terms glam again". Mashable. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  30. ^ "Billy Eichner Launches Star-Studded Campaign to Get Millennials to Vote in Midterm Elections". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  31. ^ "Glam Up The Midterms". glamupthemidterms.com. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  32. ^ "Billy Eichner Hits the Street With a New Goal: "Flipping the Senate" | Hollywood Reporter". www.hollywoodreporter.com. November 19, 2019. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  33. ^ Wong, Curtis M. (August 18, 2021). "Judd Apatow's Gay Romantic Comedy Casts A Love Interest For Billy Eichner". HuffPost. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
  34. ^ eichner, billy (February 24, 2020). "Because I love her and think she has ALL the qualities of a great leader, as well as a healing way of communicating that this country so desperately needs, I'm voting for @ewarren. Do with this info what you will. I'm not a perfect person & I once lied about seeing Wicked". @billyeichner. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  35. ^ "The 41st Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Award Winners". emmyonline.org and National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. June 21, 2017. Archived from the original on June 25, 2014. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  36. ^ "Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program - 2015". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  37. ^ "20th Annual Webby Awards Winners Announced". Webby Awards (Press release). Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  38. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (January 18, 2016). "'Carol' Sweeps Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Awards". Variety. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
  39. ^ "Outstanding Variety Sketch Series - 2017". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved July 21, 2017.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]