Billy Eichner takes over Jimmy Kimmel Live! starting tonight
Jimmy Kimmel Live!‘s summer of guest hosts continues tonight as actor Billy Eichner takes over for a pair of shows. Given his experience, skillset, and perspective, there is no reason why Eichner shouldn’t shine as a late night television host.
Jimmy Kimmel recently announced that he was stepping away from his late night gig on ABC for a summer vacation. The break will become an annual event for Kimmel who has hosted his show nonstop since 2003.
But rather than shut down production for two months, the show goes on thanks to the crew and a roster of guest hosts selected to fill in. Things started this week when black-ish star Anthony Anderson hosted on Monday and Tuesday night, continuing the run of virtual shows for Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
Now one of the most unique voices in comedy is ready to take his turn. Billy Eichner hosts tonight and will go back-to-back with another go on Thursday night.
Billy Eichner is perfectly suited for late night television in 2020
Billy Eichner is best known for Billy on the Street. The pop quiz/man-on-the-street gameshow developed a cult following with support from Saturday Night Live stars Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Rachel Dratch. Since then, Eicher has put together an impressive list of credits that include Parks and Recreation, Difficult People, American Horror Story, and The Lion King.
But late night television fans likely know that Eichner has been putting out content for the genre for years. He made several appearances on Conan as a special correspondent, most notably to get the inside scoop on Madonna’s halftime show during Super Bowl XLVI.
It’s obvious that Eichner knows what works in late night television. An endorsement from Conan O’Brien is validation enough but Eichner continually delivered hilarious and absurd pieces that couldn’t be replicated by anyone else.
Billy on the Street fans also know that Eicher loves celebrities and the entertainment industry. It’s a passion that should translate well as the host of late night show. Eichner could talk to anyone from movies, television, theater, or music and never sound out of touch or have to play along. And with all those years running around New York City talking to strangers, Eichner has proven he really can talk to anyone about anything.
Over the past five years, late night television has gone through a transformation. The genre is not just about comedy bits and promotion. Hosts like Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, and John Oliver have made things increasingly political by speaking out on issues they see as important all while keeping audiences laughing.
Eichner is right out of this mold as well. He has advocated for increased voter registration, political participation among young people, and LGBTQ rights. More recently, he has been an outspoken supporter of the Black Lives Matter protests and has weighed in on the government response to the pandemic.
Expect Eichner to uses the platform offered by hosting Jimmy Kimmel Live! to do more of the same. Ratings and fan support have shown that politics and social commentary absolutely have a place in late night television. Eichner’s talents, creativity, and passion for social justice are a perfect combination for a host in 2020.
Eichner is absolutely someone who could take over a late night show of his own and make it a success if that’s what he chose to do. He’ll show everyone why over the next two nights.
Jimmy Kimmel Live! hosted by Billy Eichner airs tonight at 11:35 PM ET on ABC. Guests will be comedian Amy Schumer and Democratic candidate for Senate in South Carolina Jaime Harrison.