Billy Eichner and Terrell Owens Want to Bring the Bold Back to Football


Terrell Owens and Billy Eichner hit up New Yorkers to perform their touchdown dance (Photo: Stuart Ramson/AP Images for Butterfinger)

It’s perhaps one of the most out-there interview combinations imaginable: Emmy nominee Billy Eichner and six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Terrell Owens. So when the three of us sat down to chat about their partnership to promote Butterfinger’s campaign to bring excessive celebrations back to the game of football, the conversation went to some pretty far-reaching places.

During a break from hitting the streets of New York — Billy On the Street-style — to promote Butterfinger’s offer to cover players’s fines for excessive celebration up to $50,000 for the remainder of the playoffs, our conversation goes from football, to Frasier, to what Rooney Mara is like at a football game.

Yahoo Celebrity: How did this team come together?
Billy Eichner: It might be different for both of us, we have different backgrounds, I don’t know if you’re aware. Terrell comes from an improv background. I guess Butterfinger was starting this Bolder Than Bold campaign and they wanted bold people to be a part of it and I guess some people think that I’m bold — that’s one way of putting it — and they contacted me and I thought it would be fun and here we are.
Terrell Owens: And for myself, I think, if you’re familiar with my career, that it’s a no-brainer in terms of what I’ve been able to accomplish on the field. But the way I performed, it’s a little bit different. I was kind of a trendsetter, I would definitely say that the things that I did on the football field were bold in terms of my celebrations.

Just as a sidenote, I’m a lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan so…
TO: [laughs] OK, so then you’re very familiar.

The first thing that comes to mind with this ad is you had some controversy with Burger King ripping off the Billy On the Street style for an ad.
BE: In my opinion. In my none-too-humble opinion and many other people’s opinions, yes they did do that.

So when Butterfinger approached you, what were your thoughts?
BE: If you want it done right… Often imitated, never duplicated. They went to the right guy, that’s my opinion.

What makes a good touchdown celebration?
TO: Something different. It’s got to be something out of the norm. I can mention three [of mine] right off the bat that were kind of impromptu, that were kind of really bold. Most notably I would say the Sharpie was bold, that was definitely impromptu. And with the Cowboys going from goal line, twice, not just once, twice [to the 50-yard line].
BE: I think they should expand it beyond dancing. I’d like to see a monologue being done in the end zone, maybe some slam poetry, some spoken word. There are other art forms, it shouldn’t just be dancing. I’d like to see mime get its moment.
TO: That’s the thing, if I was actually playing and heard about this campaign, my wheels would be turning, so, definitely I would probably take full advantage of this $50,000 fine that they’re offering.
BE: I say just break all the rules. If I scored a touchdown, I would perform a full episode of Frasier. Right in the end zone. I’d bring David Hyde Pierce. Peri Gilpin, she’d love to do it, Jane Leeves, they’d all be there. We’d pause for applause, I’d take commercial breaks, everything. I’d ask for a line, I’d ask for the chance to improvise.

Do you have a dream guest that you’re working on getting on the show?
BE: Yes, and her name rhymes with “Terrell,” I’ll let you figure it out.

OK, but [Meryl Streep] is a running gag on the show, is there someone else?
BE: Other than Meryl? I mean, we’ve had a lot of guests on the show. At this point, I wouldn’t say there’s one particular person other than Meryl who’s been sort of a running theme throughout the series. But there are people who I really love that I would love to have do the show. Steve Martin, Stephen Colbert, anyone named Steven. Fallon. There’s a lot of funny people that I like who haven’t done it yet who I’d love to have come do it. Steve Carell.


Terrell Owens and Billy Eichner (Photo: Stuart Ramson/AP Images for Butterfinger)

Who do you think is going to win the Super Bowl this year?
TO: I don’t know who it’s going to be yet. … The strongest team out of the AFC I see is the New Engalnd Patriots, that’s who I see coming out of the AFC. Out of the NFC, it’s kind of up and down, obviously out of the NFC, the Panthers are playing well with Cam Newton and those guys, they have one loss so it really depends. And it all really depends on who plays better that particular day, so I think everybody is expecting… If you had to call it from the middle of the season, it would be the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers.

Billy are you a football fan?
BE: Nope! … I think Rooney Mara’s family owns a football team.

Two! [Her mother’s family, the Rooneys, founded the Pittsburgh Steelers and her father’s family, the Maras, founded the New York Giants.]
BE: One of them.

What do you think Rooney Mara is like at a football game, because I have actually spent a lot of time thinking about this.
BE: I can’t imagine her doing the wave … Although it is hilarious to me that Rooney Mara has probably had to attend so many football games in her life, like that is a hilarious fact I think. Kate Mara I could see having a beer and loosening up. I’m glad we’re talking about this, I’m sure Butterfinger is thrilled. There’s nothing more crispety and crunchety than Rooney Mara.