SXSW: Billy Eichner brings ‘Billy on the Street’ to SXSW – for a second, at least

Metro goes to SXSW 2014

Comedian Billy Eichner is back with a third season of his irreverent guerrilla quiz show, “Funny or Die’s Billy on the Street,” debuting March 12 at 11pm EST on Fuse. To celebrate, he’s in Austin, Texas, for SXSW — for as little time as possible, he assures Metro.

So this is my first time going to SXSW.
Oh good, I hate it! (laughs) I’ve been there once. I mean, Austin is amazing, I just think I need to go to Austin when it’s not SXSW to really experience it. That said, you do need to go, and everyone goes and there’s just a lot happening. I’m glad we’re doing our event on Monday, when it’s a little more chilled out. That first weekend, you know, it’s basically like New York and L.A. and Chicago, everyone converges on Austin. It’s a lot, it’s hectic.

Billy Eichner quizzes unsuspecting New Yorkers on "Funny or Die's Billy on the Street."
Billy Eichner quizzes unsuspecting New Yorkers on “Funny or Die’s Billy on the Street.”

How often do you run into people who just expect you to be in character like that?
Um … every day, all the time. (laughs) And you know, I totally understand it, and I’m happy to report to them that I’m not that way all the time, that it’s a character, obviously, and no one could live that way. I’m glad, though. I think it’s a compliment. Sometimes I think that people are disappointed, even journalists. Sometimes I’ll show up for an interview and I can tell they’re a little disappointed. It’s almost like they wanted to be on “Billy on the Street” rather than just talk to me about “Billy on the Street.” I’m certainly not offended by it, but that said I am not that guy in real life. I’m just your average gay Jew. What can I tell you?

Have you ever put together a compilation of people saying “no” to your requests?
You know, I don’t think we’ve ever done that, but it’s a really funny idea. Lord knows it happens all the time. Especially in New York. Everyone’s, like, getting somewhere. You know, they’ve got somewhere to be.

How is New York as a setting for the series?
I think this is a very New York show in terms of the energy, and we rely on and celebrate this sort of classic, eccentric attitude. That manifests itself in different ways depending on who you’re talking to, but still there’s a very specific New York energy and sensibility that show thrives on. I don’t think you could do it in L.A. There’s no sort of buzzing core area. I would like to branch out — whether it’s on this particular TV or on another show — where we see what happens when we take this persona out into the world beyond New York, whether that’s other cities or small towns or who knows what? Put “Billy on the Street” in the rainforests and see what happens! It’s probably going to be mostly running, me running around by myself or taking a nap near a tree.

The show does involve a lot of running.
Yes, I burned a lot of calories. I needed to point out that between Season 2 and Season 3 I lost a lot of weight. That was the only point of me signing on to do it again.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…