Billy Eichner is a devoted student of pop culture. When he targets something on “Billy on the Street,” he usually does it with love — and always with extreme accuracy. So when Billy introduces “Shondaland,” his newest pop culture obstacle course, it’s filled with jokes that perfectly skewer the shows on TGIT.
Amy Sedaris, following in the footsteps of “Billy on the Street” guest stars Rachel Dratch and Joel McHale, is the eager participant in the race and she jumps right in, cutting the ribbon on the entrance to the magical palace that is “Shondaland.”
Then, Sedaris is tasked with doing physical challenges based around some of the biggest cliches on TV.
For “Grey’s Anatomy,” she has to mime sex with a nurse while a patient is dying … definitely something that’s happened more than a few times on the show.
“Scandal” gets singed with a joke about the show’s frequent “hacking” scenes where a character simply has to type a few characters, then is able to get access to everything from FBI files to their boss’ emails.
“How To Get Away with Murder” is celebrated for its frequently gratuitous sex scenes.
But the funniest part of the obstacle course is when Sedaris has to push her way through a “gauntlet of ten white people patting themselves on the back for embracing a black lead,” as Eichner chastises the crowd as “so self-righteous.”
The only misstep is when there’s a challenge to feed Cicely Tyson her “How To Get Away with Murder” lines because, as Eichner points out, the venerable actress is in her 90s. It really interrupts what was a high-energy, fast-paced sketch.
The whole course ends with a waterslide where Sedaris and Eichner splash into a pool of “Kerry Washington’s tears.” It’s funny because it’s true — Olivia Pope does get teary now and again.
“Billy on the Street” manages to point out all the cliches that might plague Shondaland shows, but make them so enjoyable at the same time. Except for the bad wigs. That’s just a shame.
“Billy on the Street” airs at Thursdays at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on truTV.