Billy Eichner

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Billy Eichner
Billy Eichner May 2014.jpg
Eichner in 2014
Born (1978-09-18) September 18, 1978 (age 42)
New York City, New York, U.S.
EducationStuyvesant High School
Alma materNorthwestern University
Years active2005–present
Genres

Billy Eichner (born September 18, 1978) is an American actor, comedian, and producer. 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. Eichner was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for "Outstanding Game Show Host" in 2013. He is also known for playing Craig Middlebrooks on the sitcom Parks and Recreation 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.[1] He graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1996,[2] and from Northwestern University in 2000 with a BA in Theater.[3] Actor Robin Lord Taylor was his college roommate.[4]

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.[5] He also appeared on Conan as a special correspondent in original video shorts[6] and as himself on Bravo's Watch What Happens: Live with Andy Cohen,[7] Last Call with Carson Daly,[8] The Wendy Williams Show,[9] and Fashion Police with Joan Rivers, among others.

Eichner has been a voiceover guest star in several episodes of the animated TV series Bob's Burgers as Mr. Ambrose, the Librarian. He has been a regular performer at New York City's Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.[10]

In 2011, Eichner starred the show Billy on the Street. This aired on truTV and was created by Funny or Die. It is available on Netflix. In this show, Eichner goes around the streets of New York City, asking people random questions, or having them compete in trivia games. He often has famous celebrities on his show that will 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.[11] 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.[12] 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 show host Seth Meyers on the streets of New York, interviewing random people.[13]

Eichner starred in a Hulu original series titled Difficult People with Julie Klausner, and executive produced by Amy Poehler, The project was originally set up at USA Network.[14] The series began airing on August 5, 2015.[15] In 2016, Eichner appeared in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, released on May 20.[16] In 2017, he joined the cast of American Horror Story for recurring roles in its seventh and eighth seasons.[17]

In 2019, Eichner provided the voice of Timon in Disney's live action remake of The Lion King, from director Jon Favreau.[18][19] 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."[20]

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.[21]

In March 2021, Eichner announced that he is currently 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. Being produced by Universal Pictures, it is set to be the first adult-oriented LGBT movie ever produced by a mainstream film studio.[22] In August of that same year, 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.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Eichner is Jewish[24] and gay.[25][26][27] He is currently single and lives alone in Los Angeles.[28] Eichner is 6'3" tall.[29]

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, 2018, midterm elections, especially millennials, of whom only 12% voted in the previous midterm election.[30][31][32][33] Eichner joined the progressive political organization Swing Left as senior advisor starting in 2019[34][35] and endorsed Elizabeth Warren in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries.[36]

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

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2011–2017 Billy on the Street Himself (host) Also creator and executive producer
2013–2015 Parks and Recreation Craig Middlebrooks 17 episodes
2013–2018 Bob's Burgers Mr. Ambrose (voice) 10 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
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, guest judge 1 episode (season 10)[37]
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
2020 Mariah Carey's Magical Christmas Special Elf Billy Christmas special
2021 American Crime Story: Impeachment Matt Drudge

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2013 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Game Show Host Billy on the Street Nominated [38]
2015 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program Nominated [39]
2016 Webby Awards Online Film & Video: Comedy, Individual Short or Episode Won [40]
Dorian Awards Wilde Wit of the Year Nominated [41]
2017 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Variety Sketch Series Nominated [42]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kamp, David. "Billy Eichner Is Only Shouting Because New York Is Loud". HWD. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  2. ^ Larson, Sarah (May 23, 2016). "Billy Eichner's Comedy of Confrontation". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  3. ^ "Billy Eichner Biography". Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  4. ^ Wagner, Curt (October 5, 2014). "Robin Lord Taylor walks the walk as Penguin in 'Gotham'". RedEye. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  5. ^ Calhoun, Ada (May 15, 2005). "Hey Gang, Let's Put On a Twisted Talk Show". The New York Times. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  6. ^ "Team Coco Heads To The Superbowl! [sic]". teamcoco.com. February 3, 2012. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  7. ^ "Watch What Happens Live - Martha Plimpton and Billy Eichner". BravoTV. Archived from the original on October 15, 2013. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  8. ^ "Last Call with Carson Daly". NBC. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  9. ^ "LaToya Jackson and Billy Eichner". The Wendy Williams Show. February 24, 2012. Archived from the original on December 28, 2014. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  10. ^ "Billy Eichner". ucbcomedy.com. Archived from the original on October 22, 2010. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Shorey, Eric. "Billy Eichner and Seth Meyers Harass New Yorkers About The Emmy Awards". thebacklot.com. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ "Watch the First Difficult People Teaser -- Vulture". Vulture.
  16. ^ Kroll, Justin. "Billy Eichner Joins Cast of 'Neighbors 2'". Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  17. ^ Stack, Tim (March 28, 2017). "'American Horror Story': Billy Eichner Cast in Season 7". EW.com. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ @Disney (November 1, 2017). "#TheLionKing. 2019. 🦁👑" (Tweet). Retrieved November 3, 2017 – via Twitter.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (March 5, 2021). "Billy Eichner's Romantic Comedy 'Bros' to Debut in Theaters in 2022". Variety. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ Kamp, David (November 2015). "Billy Eichner is Only Shouting Because New York Is Loud". Vanity Fair. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  26. ^ Fallon, Kevin (February 12, 2013). "How 'Billy on the Street' Host Billy Eichner Hit the Mainstream". The Daily Beast. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  27. ^ Peikert, Mark (May 27, 2009). "Billy Eichner: Gay, White, and Terrified!". Backstage. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  28. ^ Sandberg, Bryn (May 4, 2020). "How I'm Living Now: Billy Eichner, Actor and Comedian". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
  29. ^ Nast, Condé (May 15, 2016). "Billy Eichner's Comedy of Confrontation". The New Yorker. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
  30. ^ "Billy Eichner, John Oliver, Andy Cohen, and More Are Joining Forces to Glam Up the Midterms". Vogue. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  31. ^ Hamilton, Isobel. "Billy Eichner is on a mission to make the mid-terms glam again". Mashable. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  32. ^ "Billy Eichner Launches Star-Studded Campaign to Get Millennials to Vote in Midterm Elections". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  33. ^ "Glam Up The Midterms". glamupthemidterms.com. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  34. ^ "Billy Eichner Hits the Street With a New Goal: "Flipping the Senate" | Hollywood Reporter". www.hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  35. ^ Wong, Curtis M. (August 18, 2021). "Judd Apatow's Gay Romantic Comedy Casts A Love Interest For Billy Eichner". HuffPost. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
  36. ^ 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.
  37. ^ "Shania Twain, "Broad City" Stars And More Join The Judges' Panel On "Drag Race" Season 10". New Now Next.
  38. ^ "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.
  39. ^ "Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program - 2015". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  40. ^ "20th Annual Webby Awards Winners Announced". Webby Awards (Press release). Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  41. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (January 18, 2016). "'Carol' Sweeps Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Awards". Variety. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
  42. ^ "Outstanding Variety Sketch Series - 2017". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved July 21, 2017.

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