Update: Difficult People has received a straight-to-series order from Hulu, and the half-hour comedy will begin production for the streaming service, which also has forthcoming shows from Jason Reitman and J.J. Abrams and Stephen King slated for next year.
As we announced earlier this week, USA has ordered a pilot of a show titled Difficult People, co-created by and co-starring Billy Eichner and Vulture’s own Julie Klausner. (It’s also produced by Amy … Poehler. Poehler? Is that how you spell it?) According to us, “the show follows the duo who play New York comedians who hate everyone but each other.” We’re happy for them and asked the pair to tell us a few short things about their pilot. They did.
1. We play bitter, struggling outliers in the NYC comedy world who can’t get a break while our peers move on to fame and fortune. And everybody drives us crazy. The only people we don’t talk shit about are each other. And Margo Martindale, who is having a great year, AND IT’S ONLY MAY!!!!!
2. When we pitched it, at one point we said: “Think of Will and Grace, if one was a six and the other was a seven.” The executives were like, “DO YOU TAKE AMEX OR SHOULD I WRITE YOU A BLANK CHECK?”
3. Billy: In our real lives, we very much communicate to each other constantly via the language of pop culture, and that’s something that we’re going to bring to this show. We care so much about entertainment; we use it as a way to connect to each other over deeper, more personal things, or sometimes as a way of distracting us from those things entirely. For instance, when my father was dying in the hospital, I checked my phone and saw that Deadline had announced the all-black remake of Steel Magnolias. I immediately texted and tweeted Julie the link, accompanied by the words “CALL WHEN YOU CAN.” Right away we began to come up with our dream cast for the remake, against the backdrop of far more painful and profound issues I was dealing with at the time, issues we rarely, and have rarely, discussed. We are however STILL reeling at the miscasting of Queen Latifah in the Sally Field role, which was truly unsettling.
4. Julie: In terms of what other shows it can be compared to, I looked to Curb Your Enthusiasm as an inspiration for the tone and structure of the script. Our characters are pretty Larry David-esque in that we go through our irritable, neurotic lives getting pissed off at perfectly pleasant people making small social transgressions. And, in trying to get by among commoners, we tend to make things much worse. There are also a lot of interwoven story lines that intersect to the detriment of our characters — and lots of jokes. We value joke density.
5. Amy Poehler smells like ripe apricots, freshly laundered towels, and MDMA.
6. We hope one day to do an episode like that movie Funny People, only instead of finding out she has cancer, Julie’s character gets some liposuction on her inner thighs. Before the procedure, she decides to take stock of her life because she believes she may die during surgery — so she goes home to try to reconcile with her high-school crush, Seth Friedland.