On the TruTV show "Billy on the Street," comedian Billy Eichner plays a pop culture-obsessed fan who runs around New York City — often with celebrities in tow — confronting passersby with questions or asking them to play along with his trademark quizzes.
The show relies heavily on spontaneous moments with celebrities and everyday people. In the just-completed fifth season, there was a slight shift in the show’s comedy. While still full of moments with the likes of Amy Poehler or Jon Hamm running around with Eichner, there were some more political messages — albeit couched in Eichner’s familiar comedic format.
When Eichner came to The Frame’s studio recently, he said that while “Billy on the Street” isn’t scripted in the traditional sense, he has a creative team that puts a lot of thought and planning into every segment.
On the planning that goes into each segment:
On making the format of his show more political:
You sit down in a room with your writers and I said, You know what? This is an election year. I'm older now. I'm five years older than when the show actually started. I'm 10 years older than when I first started making the videos for my live show. I've evolved and I want the show to be more of a reflection of who I am in real life, which is someone who's very politically engaged. I said, I don't like the conversation that the country is having about immigration. And we turned that into our "Immigrant or Real American" game. It's very black-and-white, but when you hear the names listed, you can tell what the message is.