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Billy Eichner and Ross the Intern clash over intellectual property theft accusations

'I usually ignore but this one is SHAMELESS and PATHETIC.'


Samantha Grasso


Posted on Jun 17, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 2:22 pm CDT

If there’s one thing fans of Billy Eichner’s characters on Difficult People and Parks and Recreation have learned about him, it’s that Eichner has no problem calling bullshit and telling it like it is. 

On Friday the Billy on the Street personality dragged his latest set of victims on Twitter, accusing Capital One and Ross Mathews (aka Ross the Intern) for stealing his intellectual property in a video advertisement featuring the television personality.

Eichner, who is known for his erratic man-on-the-street interviews on his Funny or Die television show, began his complaint by quoting a tweet by Capital One with an attached video. 

The video, which appears to be part of an advertising campaign promoting Capital One’s Venture and Quicksilver credit cards, shows Mathews testing a pair of English blokes on credit card-related trivia. 

“Yet another Billy on the Street ripoff,” Eichner wrote when quoting the tweet. “I usually ignore but this one is SHAMELESS and PATHETIC. (And not funny).”

From comparing Capital One’s video to just a few of Eichner’s Billy on the Street sketches, it’s understandable why Eichner is pissed. The video appears to imitate Eichner’s witty commentary and fast-paced interview questions in a game-show format, with Mathews shooting off inquiries about credit card rewards and playfully insulting the contestants when they answer incorrectly.

Take a look at this similar campaign video featuring Mathews for reference:

Mathews replied quickly to the accusations on Twitter, stating that his time in the entertainment industry was built on these man-on-the-street interviews.

And Mathews does have a point. From his intern fame at The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to his numerous television hosting gigs, Mathews’ interviews during his 15 years in the industry—compared to Eichner’s 11 (according to a mention of him in the New York Times)—consist of smart jokes and commentary not much different from Eichner’s shtick.  

Not to be out-burned, Eichner replied telling Mathews that Capital One reached out to his people about the campaign,. 

As the pair continued to sling tweets back and forth, even Watch What Happens: Live host Andy Cohen commented on Eichner’s accusation with a pitiful, “Oh honey no.” 

While it appeared the drama dust was settling on Eichner’s side, Mathews returned hours later, rebutting Eichner’s final comment with a backhanded compliment/negging/self-deprecating combo. Yeah, we’re not quite sure either.

If this Twitter “not a feud” feud is indicative of anything, it’s that Mathews and Eichner are more similar in comedic stylings and slinging insults than they are different. 

Capital One’s advertising media contact did not respond to the Daily Dot for comment on Eichner’s accusations.

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*First Published: Jun 17, 2016, 11:29 pm CDT