Billy Eichner may want to pursue a second career in soothsaying. Back in 2019, as a guest on Colton Underwood’s season of the hit ABC dating competition series “The Bachelor,” Eichner suggested Underwood might be “the first gay Bachelor.”
He made this suggestion this to Colton’s face, by the way, so of course it was at least somewhat a joke. We’d never try to assign a percentage of serious vs. humorous to a master of deadpan comedy, though. At the time, Eichner was mostly ribbing Underwood for being a virgin.
But the comment gained new meaning when Underwood came out as gay during an interview with Robin Roberts that aired on Wednesday’s “Good Morning America.”
“I’m gay — I know that’s a shock, Colton,” Eichner said while playing a “camp counselor” on the show. “That I think you should look into. Maybe you’re the first gay Bachelor and we don’t even know.”
Colton, who in the moment existed somewhere between playing into the joke and being genuinely uncomfortable, appeared to be at a loss for words.
“Put that in your promo,” Eichner suggested. Hey, it might not be the craziest idea for a future comeback season.
While some fans are already pushing to bring Colton back for a same-sex season of “The Bachelor,” Warner Bros. Unscripted Television and ABC have declined to comment. They later added: “We applaud Colton and celebrate his strength and courage to live his truth.”
On Wednesday, the executive producers of the “Bachelor” franchise said the following in a statement: “We are so inspired by Colton Underwood’s courage to embrace and pursue his authentic self. As firm believers in the power of love, we celebrate Colton’s journey in the LGBTQIA+ community every step of the way.”
Watch the Eichner-Underwood video above.
Underwood, 29, told Roberts, “I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my life and that means the world to me.” Later in the interview, he revealed that he had “a wake-up call” when he considered self-harm and “didn’t have the intentions of waking up” one day in the past year.
Underwood, a former pro football player from the Midwest who starred on the 23rd season of the hit ABC show, cited the turmoil of the past year when describing what moved him to come out, mentioning the global pandemic as well as his own well-documented personal struggles. Watch the interview here.