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Hairspray Live Casts Billy on the Street Star Billy Eichner

The cast will also include newcomer Maddie Baillio, Kristin Chenoweth, and more.

Billy Eichner joins the cast of NBC's Hairspray Live!
Billy Eichner joins the cast of NBC's Hairspray Live!
(© David Gordon)

Billy Eichner, best known as the creator and host of Funny Or Die's Billy on the Street and star of the Hulu original series Difficult People, has joined the cast of Hairspray Live! The comic actor will play Rob Barker, the Baltimore TV newscaster who reports on Tracy Turnblad and her escape from prison in an attempt to integrate the Corny Collins Show. The NBC production will air December 7 at 8pm ET/PT.

Eichner joins a cast that stars newcomer Maddie Baillio in the role of Tracy Turnblad, original Broadway Tony winner Harvey Fierstein reprising his performance as Edna, Garrett Clayton (Link Larkin), Ariana Grande (Penny Pingleton), Dove Cameron (Amber Von Tussle), Jennifer Hudson (Motormouth Maybelle), Martin Short (Wilbur Turnblad), Derek Hough (Corny Collins), Kristin Chenoweth (Velma Von Tussle), Sean Hayes (Mr. Pinky), Andrea Martin (Prudy Pingleton), Ephraim Sykes (Seaweed), Shahadi Wright Joseph (Little Inez), and Rosie O'Donnell (Gym Teacher).

Hairspray features a Tony-winning score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and a Tony-winning book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan. Based on the film by John Waters, it tells the story of Tracy Turnblad, an overweight Baltimore teen with dreams of landing a spot on a TV dance show and bringing racial integration with her.

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who produced the 2007 movie-musical version of Hairspray, will produce the live television edition. The Wiz Live! director Kenny Leon will take the helm, with Alex Rudzinski (Grease Live) directing for television. Jerry Mitchell will repeat his duties from the Broadway mounting as choreographer. Original Hairspray composer-lyricists Shaiman and Wittman are also on the team for the live work.