'Quizzed in the Face' With Elena
Elena is really the quintessential New Yorker to me. I don't think she’s aware of how funny she is, which of course makes it funnier. I approached her without any preparation or any premeditated ideas of who she was. To me, she was just another person walking down the street. But from the second Elena started talking to me, she was just hysterically funny. She wouldn't take any of my bullshit – she gave it back to me as hard as I give it to people sometimes.
I never wanted to be one of those shows that brings back everyone's favorite contestant. But I just loved Elena so much, and the viewers loved her so much; now she’s part of the Billy on the Street family. She's so unfiltered and opinionated and so, like, disgusted and passionate and easily flustered. But she also has this great reserve of strength and determination. So we brought her back and did all sorts of things with her. She played against Lena Dunham, she played against Michelle Obama and Big Bird – which was obviously a huge moment for all of us.
Elena is really what Billy on the Street is all about: She's a lady of a certain age who lives alone in New York, and she really has lived life by her own rules. She's really passionate about what she believe in. We often get into tiffs on the show, but I love it. She really makes me laugh.