Billy Eichner is honoring the cultural impact of “Sex and the City” on the queer community.
On the 25th anniversary of the “SATC” premiere, Eichner spoke with People magazine about the impact of seeing real gay bars on screen in the HBO series based in New York City.
“My gay friends and girlfriends were the right people to be attracted to ‘Sex and the City,'” Eichner said. “I had people in my apartment every Sunday night and we watched it religiously. It was one of the only shows that created what, at the time, seemed like a more authentic, not quite authentic, look at gay men and our relationships with women.
The ‘Bros’ star added, ‘The conversations the women were having sounded like conversations I was having with my friends. You’ve never seen them depicted like that. It featured gay men and women, to a lesser extent, but far more than existed in TV and film at the time.
Eichner recalled one of his earliest “SATC” memories of seeing Stanford (Willie Garson) go to a gay bar in his underwear.
“You haven’t seen many shows at that point that had scenes in gay bars, let alone with guys in their underwear for Underwear Night. The fact that Stanford went to gay bars seemed so radical and it really appealed to me,” Eichner said. Barracuda, which is still there. I’ve been to that bar with my friends, but to actually see it on TV in a mainstream show with Sarah Jessica Parker on HBO, I noticed. This is before texting, but I remember calling i my friends — both my friends and my gay friends — and I said, ‘You guys need to watch this show.'”
Eichner credited “SATC” for inspiring his film “Bros,” saying, “’Sex and the City’ is truly one of the great modern rom-coms, even if it’s a series. It’s that mix of fantasy and reality, which is what great romantic comedies are.”
And Eichner’s rant about the movie “Sex and the City 2” helped propel his web series “Billy on the Street” into a TV show.
“What went viral was what I did when I went out and defended ‘Sex and the City 2,'” Eichner said. “I truly loved the show so much and was willing to follow it anywhere. The head of Funny or Die at the time, who is now the CEO of Funny or Die, Mike Farah, this is the video that inspired him to write me an email and say, “Hey, I really like what you are doing”. We should work together.’ I said to him, ‘Good, what if we try to make it into a TV show?’ So he had a very specific and hugely influential moment in my life.
The “Sex and the City” sequel series “And Just Like That” returns for a second season on June 22.