Skip To Content
The Schmooze

Billy Eichner And MSNBC Host Have The Homoerotic Tension Of A Greco-Roman Vase

Comedian Billy Eichner appeared on MSNBC’s The Beat With Ari Melber last week, in what can only be described as an orgy of Jewish male charisma.

Melber, whom I had never heard of due to being a millennial non-TV owner, is, apparently a lawyer who succeeded Greta Van Susteren at MSNBC and used to write for the Forward. Frankly, my only worry as far as he is concerned is if he will agree on raising our four children as vegetarians. In Melber’s five minute interview with Eichner, the singular comic power behind “Billy On The Street” and a star on “American Horror Story,” the two established an electric connection based on their equally strong eyebrow-game and soft-burning passion for liberal politics.

“Sometimes I’m so busy doing the work that I forget [to reflect] on how much I’ve meant to American democracy, and, you know, the republic in general,” Eichner began, as the two men flashed excellent orthodontic work at each other over Melber’s desk. Not content with bringing a sharp wit and an even sharper jaw line to cable television, Eichner also observed that his show, “Billy On The Street” has taken on darker news stories because “now culture and politics are fully merged, and so to not talk about [politics] would make the show feel completely irrelevant.”

The comedian appeared on The Beat not as a screen test for a “Call Me By Your Name”-inspired buddy comedy starring two men on the brink of their 40’s (which is too bad), but so Eichner could promote his initiative “Glam Up The Midterms,” which aims to raise the numbers of young Americans who vote in the 2018 midterm elections. Eichner explained that despite his recent darker comic bent, “One of the reasons I wanted to do the Glam Up The Midterms campaign is that it’s an optimistic approach to what’s happening.”

Melber and Eichner achieved their most high-octane sexual chemistry when Melber attempted to turn one of Eichner’s “Billy On The Street” games on the gameshow host himself.

Finally, Melber questioned Eichner about his upcoming Netflix special. “It seems that it’s come much later in your career than many other comics,” Melber said. “I was busy,” the comic responded, coldly. Melber persisted in his questioning until Eichner shouted, “What’s this, freakin’ McCarthy hearings?” and demanded to be introduced to Rachel Maddow.

The segment ended with the two men gripping each others hands while holding eye-contact. Yet it shall carry on in our hearts, and most likely in the wilderness of our imaginations.

Jenny Singer is a writer for the Forward. You can reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.