Following the two-ring circus of the political conventions, it’s surprising that TV journalists at TCA did not pepper Billy Eichner — star of truTV’s wacky unscripted series Billy on the Street — with questions about the events.
After all, Eichner’s the one who summed up Trump’s 74-minute acceptance speech on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert by calling it “longer than Finding Dory and with half the nuance.”
Instead there was little edge to the Billy panel, which included Eichner, Mike Farah, EP/CEO, Funny or Die and Anna Wenger, EP/VP of Production, Funny Or Die. Eichner stressed that Billy is not a hidden camera show and is therefore spontaneous.
“Usually 9 out of 10 people aren’t expecting to talk to me so most of them don’t,” he said (Wegner said it takes 4 days of shooting 4-6 hours a day to get enough material for one episode). Eichner recalled with fondness an older woman who slapped him across the face for making suggestive remarks.
Eichner was asked whether anyone had ever come on to him during a street encounter. “Oh yeah, all the time. Look at me,” Eichner joked.
The only question with any bite was about Eichner’s recent Twitter battle with Ross Mathews over a Capital One commercial. Eichner accused Mathews of doing a “Billy on the Street rip off,” with Mathew firing back that he’s been doing street interviews since 2001.”
The questioner wanted to know Eichner’s feeling about taking on another openly gay performer in a public spat. Said Eichner to laughs: “I think this is late breaking news, gay people are just like everybody else.”
Added Eichner: “I’ve always been out. I’ve never been in. That doesn’t even occur to me. That was a business issue, not an LGBT issue.”