“One of the things we love about working with Hulu is that they really let Julie and I be ourselves,” Billy Eichner said of Difficult People, his series with Julie Klausner. “There are obscure reference on the show … this is who we are. These are things we talk about,” he said, describing them as “entrenched in culture, high and low, 24/7.”
Hulu’s straight-to-series pickup of comedy Difficult People, executive produced by Amy Poehler, was originally set up at USA Network through Universal Cable Prods., but when USA shifted away from original comedy, the project found a new home at Hulu.
Difficult People stars 30-something best friends/aspiring comics Julie (Klausner) and Billy (Eichner), who spend a lot of time arguing about pop culture references and the rest of the time snarking everyone around them.
That said. Eichner agreed with one reporter who thought his character on this series is the Billy on the Street persona for Funny or Die. This role he said, “allowed me to be a three-dimensional person. Of course I had to come down a notch. Billy on the Street is Pee-Wee’s Playhouse — it’s a cartoon. This is a real show.”
“I don’t think we’re capable of doing a show that is pandering to the mainstream,” he said when asked if he missed some of the advantages of having Difficult People on a traditional TV network. “Hulu is the right place because it allowed us to be be ourselves. We didn’t have to water it down. It’s not diluted at all – take it or leave it. I don’t think we would have gotten that same creative license [following] Mike & Molly.”
On reporter suggested the new series’ “heritage” is NBC’s successful sitcom Will & Grace. Klausner joked that when they were pitching the show they suggested it was like Will & Grace if the lead characters were unlikeable and a 6 and a 7.
That late ’90s/early ’00s NBC comedy may have worked back then, but would not today, the two insisted.
“We’re dealing with a generation that has way less tolerance for bullshit,” Klausner said of her show versus the other. These days, she said, “people can smell bullshit a million miles away.”
“Clearly … this is not Will & Grace,” Eichner said. “It’s not glossy.”