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While President Barack Obama’s appearance on Between Two Ferns was arguably one of the coolest pop culture moments for a White House resident, I do believe First Lady Michelle Obama has topped it with the following grocery store visit for Billy on the Street with comedian Billy Eichner. It’s ridiculous, uncomfortable, and consistently gut-busting, and includes the Facts of Life exclamation “Yes! Big Bird loves Tutti!” and a slow dance between Obama and Big Bid while Billy Eichner anti-croons Aerosmith’s “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” Enjoy!
Billy Eichner is a master at creating unpredictable situations, and that talent is taken to extremes in this mostly indoor version of Billy on the Street, which is essentially the silliest, most high-volume PSA for vegetables that has ever been. The First Lady, who appeared on an episode of the Eichner-starring Parks and Recreation, teamed up with Sesame Street for a campaign to essentially make healthy foods look appealing by putting characters on the labels. Whatever works, right?
To be expected, there is one veggie reference for every ten oddball jokes and “game show moments,” and I know that this show might not be for everyone, but I laughed my ass off the entire time. It’s clearly one of those rare instances when the First Lady doesn’t quite know what she’s gotten herself into, but she’s game for anything. Even hide-and-stay-hidden-until-Billy-says-come-out. It’s downright delightful to watch how startled she gets for Eichner’s random outbursts. To his credit, he does start off pretty quietly before Eichner-ing it up as it goes along, eventually getting Obama to push him around in a shopping cart while he read-yells Gwyneth Paltrow’s Oscar speech.
Once recurring guest Elena comes in (and gets her mind blown by seeing who she’s competing against), things get truly hysterical. Eichner is so good at punching up moments with a quick line, and Elena’s blasé attitude about most things allows him frequent opportunities to do just that. His exasperated yell when she buzzes in before a question is asked should feel so rude, but Eichner pretty much has carte blanche on his reactions to people. Such as saying the First Lady is offensive to Mary Todd Lincoln for thinking President Obama is sexier than Abraham Lincoln.
It all ends with a more traditional on-the-street segment, where Eichner and Big Bird cause the usual amount of surprise and questioning looks. The best inquiry of the bunch, said to a woman who had no clue of anything beyond instant fear: “What if it’s an avocado that looks like Emily Blunt? Huh?”
You can soon catch Billy on the Street when it moves to Tru TV later this year.