Billy Eichner to make history in gay romantic comedy ‘Bros’

Billy Eichner will make cinematic history.

The 42-year-old actor-comedian will be “the first openly gay man to co-write and star in his own major studio film,” according to Universal Pictures.

The studio will release Eichner’s “Bros” Aug. 12, 2022.

The film also will be the first romantic comedy about two gay men, the studio said in a statement Friday.

“Bros” will be “a smart, swoony and heartfelt comedy about finding sex, love and romance amidst the madness,” according to the statement.

Eichner is well known for his comedy series “Billy on the Street.” Eichner chaperones celebrities through Manhattan and shouts questions about pop culture and movie trivia at random pedestrians. He also has asked the unsuspecting people if, for $1, they would like to have sex with Paul Rudd.


Eichner shared the news on his Twitter feed in his characteristic wit.

“In shocking news, BROS will be the first rom com about gay men ever produced by a major studio and, apparently, I’m the first openly gay man to ever write and star in their own studio film. Only took 100 years! THANKS HOLLYWOOD!!!”

“Bros will be directed by Nicholas Stoller (the “Neighbors” films, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”) from his screenplay with Eichner.

Eichner was the voice of Timon in “The Lion King” live-action remake. He’ll next star as journalist Matt Drudge in Ryan Murphy’s “Impeachment: American Crime Story.”

Billy Eichner to play Paul Lynde in biopic of the gay TV icon

Eichner made news last year with the announcement that he will play Paul Lynde in an upcoming biography movie based on the life of the gay TV icon.

Eichner is developing “Man in the Box,” based on the the actor who was the first TV personality to bring  gay humor to the masses in the 1970s.

Lynde, who played warlock Uncle Arthur on “Bewitched” from 1965 to 1971, was known for his Cheshire-cat grin and snarky sense of humor.

On the “Hollywood Squares” game show, Lynde sat in the center square for 10 years (1971-1981) and kept the studio audience in stitches with his gay innuendo jokes.

Throughout his career, Lynde stayed in the closet, though he never pretended to be heterosexual.

In an interview with Deadline, Eichner explained why he wants to play Lynde.

“One of the main reasons I want to do this is…because gay actors are never, hardly ever, I should say, allowed to play our own gay icons,” Eichner said. “Harvey Milk, Freddie Mercury, Elton John. Where are the gay actors? And it’s not to take anything away from those performances, which were all excellent. But why don’t we get to tell our own stories?”

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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