Right now, with so much uncertainty during these unprecedented times, the power of humor is especially formidable. One person contributing some much-needed laughs during these trying times is actor Leslie Jordan.
You may recognize Jordan from his scene-stealing supporting role as Beverly Leslie on "Will & Grace," the several different characters he has played over the years in the "American Horror Story" franchise, or as Lonnie Garr in the '90s sitcom "Hearts Afire."
But it's the performances he has been giving on his own personal social media that are making him go viral amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"I didn't realize (I blew up) until last night when everybody started calling me telling me you've gone viral. I don't really even know what that means!" Jordan told TODAY Monday.
The 64-year-old actor explained that when working on the show "Cool Kids" in 2018, he was urged by execs to get on social media, something he didn't really want to do. But it's the videos that he has been posting lately on Instagram that people have especially found solace in.
"I had this friend right when the pandemic hit, he said, 'You know what, Leslie? Your thoughts are exactly what people need to hear right now. It's not like wagging your finger or saying 'Wear your mask' or do this or do that. You're just funny," Jordan explained. "And so we started coming up with all kinds of little ideas. Mainly I do it for the response of the people."
And the response has been massive. In just a few days, Jordan's Instagram following has grown by more than 400,000 followers. Many of his videos have been shared on Twitter by fans, amassing hundreds of thousands of more views there.
In one hilarious clip, Jordan twirls a back-stretcher as a baton to demonstrate a home exercise.
In another gem simply captioned "Torture," he laments how long March is before screaming at his 84-year-old mother whom he is quarantined with in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
From talking about his famous friends like Betty White, to demonstrating Ancient Chinese medicinal remedies one can use to battle the coronavirus, Jordan is sharing every eccentric thought that is popping into his head. And the end result is comedy gold.
"We do not deserve you," commented one person.
Another added, "You're literally getting my partner and I through quarantine with a smile, thank you."
And while, yes, Jordan's comedic timing and jokes are viral-worthy, it's his authenticity and sincerity that is especially resonating with people on the internet.
Jordan said that he wasn't always as comfortable with himself as he is today.
"All my life I've always been so ashamed of being feminine," he said. "You know, you learned that very young in American culture that the feminine boys don't do well. And yet, I had a dad who was a lieutenant colonel in the army. My dad was a man's man, but he still adored me."
"And somehow in the midst of that, I still grew up hating the sissy in me."
Jordan said that becoming sober 22 years ago was a huge step on his journey to self-acceptance.
"And you know, the journey is ending on this internet thing because the journey has been people who are comfortable with themselves and are able to say, you know, this is it, this is who I am, this is what I am," he said. "And people are attracted to that. I always call my journey into sobriety, my journey into queerdom, because I really did hate everything about myself."
Jordan calls on his gay identity and recalls the AIDS crisis as a teachable moment during the coronavirus pandemic.
"The gay community came out of AIDS closer, and I think the world will be closer after this," he said. "When we come out of this, people will be kinder, they are gonna be more connected than ever before and more willing to help one another because we have a shared experience."
On what Jordan hopes people take away from his videos, it's that we all have a role and if we understand that and do what each of us are called to do, we will get through this.
"What we're learning especially during this is that each of us has a job. God bless the people on the front lines. I'm not a nurse or a doctor or a teacher, but I can make people laugh. That is a gift and that is meant to be shared. There are a lot of lonely people right now. If I can make just one person feel a little less alone, then I have done my job in this."