Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner Credit: Hulu

It’s about damn time Julie Klausner got her own show. Since 2011, the writer, comedian, and cocreator/costar of the new Hulu sitcom Difficult People has—among other things—hosted the very funny podcast How Was Your Week, an interview show that always begins with a meandering account of what Klausner read, watched, or thought about that week, from beagles to Andrew McCarthy to the virtues of pasta topped with cottage cheese. She doesn’t necessarily attempt to relate to an audience’s shared experience of the world—she just invites the audience to listen as she shares hers.

Klausner’s cocreator/costar and real-life friend Billy Eichner has graced television screens since 2014, when his videos for Funny or Die were adapted for Fuse as the guerrilla game show Billy on the Street. Like Klausner, Eichner parlays his often abstruse interests into entertainment for the masses. It’s part of the approach: if Eichner asks a startled person a question he or she can’t possibly process, there’s a doubly good chance the comic will get to stomp away, exasperated and cursing.

If they were funny independent of each other, on Difficult People they’re two halves of an even more hilarious, self-involved whole—it’s like Larry David as a half-man/half-woman circus sideshow act, except really, really into Twitter. Klauser and Eichner also play fictionalized versions of themselves, Julie and Billy, a couple of struggling comedians rapidly approaching 40; he’s a waiter and she recaps reality shows (which she really does for Vulture).
And the pilot episode gets off to a decidedly David-ian start when Julie and Billy, attending a matinee of Annie, fight with the mother of two seated in front of them over their right to use profanity in front of children. If we learned anything from eight seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm, it’s that they’re bound to run into this woman at some inopportune point in the future, and sure enough . . .

The show is full of inside jokes that developed into plotlines. Klausner has expressed her belief that library water fountain water is the coldest, most delicious water in the world—so why, she wonders, isn’t anyone bottling it? On the show, Julie and Billy pitch the idea to an exec who bottles water, or rather boxes it in those more eco-friendly paper cartons, which makes Julie wonder “Does it taste milky? Seems like it would taste a little milky.”

In the second episode, Julie obsesses over meeting up with and being desired by a guy who ignored her in grade school even though she has a nice live-in boyfriend named Arthur (James Urbaniak). She tries to talk Arthur into a threesome by way of explaining that they’ll never have a “sexist” three-way (two women, one man) because she believes in her heart that “men have enough privileges as it is.” 

There are references to Katherine McPhee and Tyne Daly and R. Kelly someday peeing on Blue Ivy (and since the show is on Hulu they can say “fuck” as often as they’d like). As characters, Julie and Billy are unapologetic and blissfully self-absorbed—and we’re so lucky they invited us to their party of two.

Difficult People, new episodes premiere Wednesdays on Hulu.