Billy Eichner (born September 18, 1978) is an American actor, comedian, and producer. He is the star, executive producer, and creator of Funny Or Die’s Billy on the Street, a comedy game show that aired on truTV. Eichner was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for “Outstanding Game Show Host” in 2013. He is also known for playing Craig Middlebrooks on the sitcom Parks and Recreation and Timon in the 2019 remake of The Lion King.
Early life and education
Eichner is a native of Queens and grew up in Forest Hills. He graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1996, and from Northwestern University in 2000 with a BA in Theater. Actor Robin Lord Taylor was his college roommate.
Eichner gained attention as the host and writer of Creation Nation: A Live Talk Show, a critically acclaimed stage show in New York. He also appeared on Conan as a special correspondent in original video shorts and as himself on Bravo’s Watch What Happens: Live with Andy Cohen, Last Call with Carson Daly, The Wendy Williams Show, and Fashion Police with Joan Rivers, among others.
Eichner has been a voiceover guest star in several episodes of the animated TV series Bob’s Burgers as Mr. Ambrose, the Librarian. He has been a regular performer at New York City’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.
In 2011, Eichner starred the show Billy on the Street. This aired on truTV and was created by Funny or Die. It is available on Netflix. In this show, Eichner goes around the streets of New York City, asking people random questions, or having them compete in trivia games. He often has famous celebrities on his show that will compete in games or go around the streets with him.
On August 5, 2013, Eichner guest starred in the sixth season of Parks and Recreation. Eichner’s first episode aired on October 10, 2013. He stars as Donna’s Eagleton counterpart, Craig Middlebrooks, who joins the Pawnee Parks and Recreation Department when Pawnee absorbs Eagleton. He became a series regular in episode four of the seventh season of the show.
During the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards show in 2014, Eichner appeared with show host Seth Meyers on the streets of New York, interviewing random people.
Eichner starred in a Hulu original series titled Difficult People with Julie Klausner, and executive produced by Amy Poehler, The project was originally set up at USA Network. The series began airing on August 5, 2015. In 2016, Eichner appeared in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, released on May 20. In 2017, he joined the cast of American Horror Story for recurring roles in its seventh and eighth seasons.
In 2019, Eichner provided the voice of Timon in Disney’s live action remake of The Lion King, from director Jon Favreau. Eichner said that Timon “[is] such a great role that allows you to do so much. But… the bigger the project and the bigger the names that you’re working with, the more you have to ignore it. If you get to the soundstage and you’re thinking, ‘Oh my God, what a full-circle moment! Nathan Lane did it originally! Beyoncé’s in this!’ then you’re paralyzed creatively. You just have to put that out of your head in order to get the job done.”
In July 2020, Eichner announced that he and Tom McNulty were developing a film biography of fellow Northwestern University alum Paul Lynde called Man in the Box, with Eichner portraying Lynde.
In March 2021, Eichner announced that he is currently writing and starring in the film Bros, which tells the story of two gay men with commitment issues who decide to settle down with each other. Being produced by Universal Pictures, it is set to be the first adult-oriented LGBT movie ever produced by a mainstream film studio. In August of that same year, Amazon Studios announced that they had bought the rights to develop the film Ex-Husbands, starring Eichner and co-written by him and Paul Rudnick.
Eichner is Jewish and gay. He is currently single and lives alone in Los Angeles. Eichner is 6’3″ tall.
Eichner is a Democrat. On February 1, 2018, Eichner announced a new initiative called Glam Up the Midterms, during that night’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! in conjunction with Funny or Die and with the support of several late night hosts including Sarah Silverman, James Corden, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O’Brien, John Oliver, Chelsea Handler, Robin Thede, and Andy Cohen. Glam Up the Midterm’s purpose was getting people to vote in the November 6, 2018, midterm elections, especially millennials, of whom only 12% voted in the previous midterm election. Eichner joined the progressive political organization Swing Left as senior advisor starting in 2019 and endorsed Elizabeth Warren in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries.
|2008||What Happens in Vegas||Band Leader|
|2010||The Charlie Sheen Is Too Damn High||Timmy McMillan||Short film|
|2013||Glitter and Ribs||Taylor Swift||Short film|
|2014||Penguins of Madagascar||New York Reporter (voice)|
|2015||Sleeping With Other People||SLAA Speaker|
|2016||The Angry Birds Movie||Chef Pig / Phillip (voices)|
|2016||Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising||Oliver Studebaker|
|2018||Most Likely to Murder||Speigel|
|2019||The Lion King||Timon (voice)|
|2011–2017||Billy on the Street||Himself (host)||Also creator and executive producer|
|2013–2015||Parks and Recreation||Craig Middlebrooks||17 episodes|
|2013–2018||Bob’s Burgers||Mr. Ambrose (voice)||10 episodes|
|2014||The Millers||Leon||Episode: “Movin’ Out (Carol’s Song)”|
|2014||New Girl||Barry||Episode: “LAXmas”|
|2015–2017||Difficult People||Billy Epstein||28 episodes|
|2016||Last Week Tonight with John Oliver||Himself||Episode: “Retirement Plans and Financial Advisors”|
|2016||Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt||Himself||Episode: “Kimmy Meets a Drunk Lady!”|
|2016||Hairspray Live!||Rob Barker||Television special|
|2017–2019||Friends from College||Dr. Felix Forzenheim||13 episodes|
|2017||Carpool Karaoke: The Series||Himself||Episode: “Billy Eichner & Metallica”|
|2017||American Horror Story: Cult||Harrison Wilton||6 episodes|
|Tex Watson||Episode: “Charles (Manson) in Charge”|
|2018||RuPaul’s Drag Race||Himself, guest judge||1 episode (season 10)|
|2018||American Horror Story: Apocalypse||Brock||3 episodes|
|Mutt Nutter||3 episodes|
|2018||The Simpsons||Billy (voice)||Episode: “Krusty the Clown”|
|2018||Family Guy||Himself (voice)||Episode: “Pawtucket Pete”|
|2019||Green Eggs and Ham||Captain Walter Bigman (voice)||Episode: “Boat”|
|2020||Jimmy Kimmel Live!||Himself||Guest Host|
|2020||Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special||Elf Billy||Christmas special|
|2021||American Crime Story: Impeachment||Matt Drudge|
Awards and nominations
|2013||Daytime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Game Show Host||Billy on the Street||Nominated|
|2015||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program||Nominated|
|2016||Webby Awards||Online Film & Video: Comedy, Individual Short or Episode||Won|
|Dorian Awards||Wilde Wit of the Year||Nominated|
|2017||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Variety Sketch Series||Nominated|