'Billy on the Street' returns to Fuse

Wednesday, 12 March 2014 09:03 AM Written by 

billy on the street

In January during a visit to the Funny Or Die headquarters in Hollywood, "Billy on the Street" host Billy Eichner was soft-spoken and calm, the exact opposite of his demeanor on "Funny or Die's Billy on the Street," which returns for a new season tonight at 11 on cable's Fuse.

More on my visit to Funny or Die down the road, but for now let's look at "Billy on the Street." Read more after the jump. ...

"Billy on the Street" is essentially a game show on the street that's more notable for its comedy than its games. It's always silly, often outrageous and quite funny in small doses. (I made the mistake of watching two episodes back-to-back; don't do it.)

Eichner, who also has a recurring role as a screamer on "Parks and Recreation," runs around Manhattan like a mad man, asking confused passersby to play one of his games, or, more often, he simply shouts at them, waits half-a-second for a reaction and moves on. Often the reactions and answers to his questions are quite funny. Clearly this show could only be produced on the streets of New York.

In an upcoming episode featuring actress Olivia Wilde -- a funnier outing than another one with Lena Dunham; the Wilde episode has more running, which is the show at its wildest and best -- Eichner plays Humpty Dumpty or Mary J. Blige and reads things that happened to one of them; the contestant has to choose which. 

"Could not be re-assembled," Eichner says.

"Mary J. Blige," replies the contestant.

In another game, Eichner runs up to people asking random, easy questions.

"Name a movie!" Eichner shouts.

"Radio Shack," replies one bystander.

In another segment, he runs around the same building (the Flat Iron Buiding, maybe?) with Wilde and demands the folks he passes tell Wilde she is pretty.

"You're all terrible, ugly, morons!" he screams at those who don't play along.

The best gag in the Dunham episode has him asking questions about Tyler Perry movies and then destroying a piece of art for each correct answer: "Just like Tyler Perry, I hate art, so I'm going to do everything I can to destroy it," Eichner declares.

It's entirely silly, borderline stupid fun, but in small doses it can be hilarious.

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