2014: What A Year: Billy Eichner

Billy Eichner in "Billy On The Street" (Fuse)

I mentioned Billy Eichner to a friend the other day and how I had interview him earlier this year for TheBacklot and her response was “Billy Eichner is gay?” Why, yes, he is and the fact that some people don’t know this is a testament to a few things.

One, and this is to Eichner's credit, he's never made his sexuality a part of his jokes or his schtick but he's also never hidden it. It's just a part of who he is, not a defining factor and that's, two, why it's also a sign that maybe someone's sexuality isn't as big of a deal to people anymore.

2014 was the year, though, that Eichner’s profile reached new heights and here’s why:

“Billy On The Street”: I spoke to Eichner in March when the Fuse comedy series was launching its third season and told him when I’ve talked to comedians in the past, most of them are pretty low key people. “I’m pretty normal, I think. I’m like normal to shy,” he told me for TheBacklot. “I’m pretty average in terms of that. I have a big group of friends and we’ve all been friends since college, and I have, of course, friends that I’ve made since then, a handful of friends…and when I’m with them, I’m opinionated and loud, the way friends are. But if I walk into a party, and I don’t know people there, and I don’t know if they know me, I’m really shy, and I will stick to like whoever my plus one is.

“Parks & Recreation”: Of course, he also fit in perfectly with the zany cast of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” as the very intense Craig and we’ll be seeing him when the final crop of episodes air this Spring.

Besides these two projects keeping him busy, the Emmy Awards this year probably did more to raise Eichner’s exposure as he did a “Billy On The Street” skit with Emmy host Seth Meyers. Take a look:

[iframe http://www.youtube.com/embed/CXeNBPXRHmA 560 340]

Copycats: The saying goes that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but one major fast food chain may have gone a bit too far. Eichner made headlines in October when he accused Burger King of ripping off his “Billy On The Street” routine with an aggressive man interviewing people on the street much in the same manner as Eichner.

Having closed out 2014 with being one of OUT 100, Eichner showed up in a hilarious guest spot on “New Girl,” where will we find Eichner in 2015? He’s starring in a new series called “Difficult People” co-starring his pal, Julie Klausner (and exec produced by Amy Poehler). The series was in development over at USA but landed at Hulu where it will air in 2015. And, thankfully, there’s more “Billy On The Street” coming on Fuse. I have a feeling he’ll pop up even more frequently and that, folks, is a very good thing.

Follow Billy Eichner on Instagram and Twitter. “Funny Or Die’s Billy On The Street” returns with new episodes in 2015. 

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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