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-Our next guest is the Enemy--
Sorry. Oh, my God. -God
-Our next guest is the Emmy-nominated creator
and star of "Billy on the Street"
and one of our favorite guests here.
Billy Eichner, how are you, my friend?
-It's so lovely to see you.
How is your quarantine thus far?
-It's great. I have a song for you.
Are you ready? -Yeah.
-Here we go.
♪ Fly me to the Zoom and let me play among the stars ♪
♪ I don't remember them making Leno do this during SARS ♪
♪ In other words, don't hold my hand ♪
♪ In other words ♪ Don't ever touch me!
-Wo-- That was wonderful.
-Thank you. That's my song for you.
-That's just --
You know, it's very interesting to live in a time
where people are not allowed to have close contact,
because of course you made a career
of invading people's personal space.
-I did. In New York City, yeah.
-In New York City, of all places.
And "Billy on the Street," which is a show I've been lucky enough
to do a few times -- -Yeah.
-This is having a resurgence, because of --
Safe to say, because of Netflix?
-Yeah, so, we did five seasons of half-hour episodes.
And prior to that, I had done years of YouTube videos.
And then we did five half-hour seasons of the show.
And four of those seasons went on Netflix in November.
So even though I'm now back
to just doing occasional web "Billy on the Street" videos,
we don't do the half-hour episodes anymore
because my career took off like a rocket.
-[ Laughs ]
-But people are now discovering those episodes on Netflix
for the first time.
So like many things that go on Netflix,
the show's having this resurgence
right at a time when I cannot go and film new videos
or new anything. -Do you think there's --
I mean, obviously, I think, one, they're hilarious.
Two, I do think they probably age incredibly well.
But do you think that people are watching it with some nostalgia
of a time where people were just in the streets,
bumping into people in New York City?
-Yeah, it's funny. I never pictured that as a show
that would ever be associated with nostalgia or sweetness.
Although, I mean, I grew up in New York City.
You know, a lot of people ask me how --
They're always like, "How can you do that?"
or they're always like, "Oh, you're fearless,"
and all these things which always makes me laugh.
I'm so not fearless.
But the reason I'm not scared to do that
is because New York is my hometown.
Those streets are where I grew up.
That's the place I'm most comfortable, weirdly.
And so for me, it always did have
I guess a little sweetness underneath it.
But I never expected it to feel nostalgic so soon.
And I think people are watching it
because it's a little nostalgic
for the New York that we're all used to
and also because I think it's just very silly,
and it really is the definition of, you know,
we dipped our toes into social commentary here and there,
but on the surface, it's so absurd and so silly,
and it's a real escape from the news every day,
which is pretty grim.
I also see a lot of families watching it with their children,
which is not something I ever expected.
But I'll take it. I don't care.
You want to ruin your kid, I'll gladly reap the benefits.
-Yeah, I was surprised to hear
that people were watching with their kids, too.
And then the minute I thought about it a little bit,
I realized that my children would delight in watching it.
You are so much fun,
and I think they would immediately understand
the comedy of people being interrupted by a stranger.
-Yeah, and I think, you know, I was very influenced as a kid
by Pee-wee Herman.
He was like my favorite thing to watch as a kid.
And, you know, Pee-wee did this thing where on one level,
he literally had a Saturday morning show for kids like me,
but it was also appreciated by adults.
Like, his show worked on two different levels.
And in some ways, he was also this human cartoon, you know?
And I think that's how children see my show.
I'm the next Pee-wee Herman, which is what I'm trying to say,
with the exception of masturbating in porno theaters,
not that I wouldn't,
but you can't go to the porno theaters right now, Seth.
Look at my chandelier.
It's like the gay "Phantom of the Opera" in here.
-[ Laughs ] -It's crazy.
-I've talked to you about this before,
but doing one of those episodes with you,
especially when we did one together for the Emmys.
-Yes. -Like, it's amazing
how much time you have to put into it.
Like, the yield is lower than people would think,
that you have to do it all day
to get, like, those 8 to 10 great moments.
And the thing that I especially liked,
which I would not have known, is you had no --
You never had any interest
in talking to people who were excited to see you coming.
Well, yeah, it's --
Once in a while, if someone recognizes me,
and, you know, now people recognize me
more often than they did.
The nice thing about New York is that
those streets are constantly replenishing themselves.
There are so many people.
So we can walk up and down the same street,
and every time we turn around, there are new people.
And a lot of them come from different parts of the world,
you know, or different parts of the country,
although I think I tend to talk to more New Yorkers
than tourists. -Yeah.
-But once in a while,
I can turn someone knowing me into something worth using.
But I'd much rather talk to someone who doesn't know me
or doesn't know me that well, because that's part of the fun,
is them experiencing it in real time, you know?
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15 Folder Collection
葉柏漢 published on April 20, 2020
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