Leslie Jordan’s Big Personality Made Quarantine A Little Less Lonely

The world is mourning Leslie Jordan, the beloved actor known for his roles in Will & Grace and American Horror Story, as well as his endearing social media presence.

Jordan, 67, died on Monday following a car accident, reports say. In the wake of his death, tributes flooded in from celebrities and former co-stars; on social media, there was an outpouring of collective grief for Jordan’s passing.

Despite being widely known for his acting roles, Jordan also built a strong following on social media, boasting 2.3 million followers on TikTok and 5.8 million on Instagram. Jordan was one of those rare stars who could effortlessly bridge the generational gap; Gen Z grew to love him throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, when he began posting regularly on TikTok.

His witty videos, often lamenting the ceaseless boredom of quarantine, lit up the darkest days of the pandemic for many, with his TikToks racking up millions of views.

In stark contrast to the celebrities that filmed humorless videos complaining about being trapped inside cavernous mansions, Jordan’s affable, down-to-earth demeanor was both relatable and deeply compelling, proving a consistent comfort during an excruciatingly difficult time.

Jordan’s distinctive voice, sassy Southern accent, and signature “Well, shit” that opened most of his monologues quickly became a staple of quarantine entertainment. Jordan seemed to understand the appeal of TikTok well before the app exploded in popularity, becoming swamped with celebrities and brands; in a platform where authenticity is key to virality, Jordan was always himself.

In one of his early videos, from March 2020, Jordan acknowledged the unrelenting boredom and slow trickling of pandemic time, asking his followers: “What are y’all doing? This is awful. It’s still March. How many days in March?”

Another memorable video saw Jordan gently mocking an article he read in the New York Times about safe pandemic sex, in which he asked: “What are y’all doing? Screwing?”

The soundbite instantly exploded into an audio meme, and spread like wildfire across TikTok (it has enjoyed a resurgence in the wake of his passing).

Jordan wasn’t afraid to be silly, or crude, and could effortlessly switch from a wholesome anecdote to reminiscing about doing hard drugs in his youth.

Jordan’s larger-than-life social media presence was observed by many of the stars who mourned him. Former Wonder Woman star Lynda Carter posted a tribute to Jordan on Twitter, writing:

“Leslie Jordan put a smile on the faces of so many, especially with his pandemic videos. What a feat to keep us all laughing and connected in such difficult times… It feels so cruel that this could happen to such a beautiful soul.”

Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham posted on Twitter:

“This news is just horrendous. Leslie Jordan. You sunshine through our days. None more so than your selfless warmth and humour through world lockdown. So blessed I got to tell you in person what you’d meant to me.”

Jordan’s former Will & Grace co-star Megan Mullally wrote a long and heartfelt tribute on Instagram, in which she mentioned that social media had provided the perfect creative outlet for Jordan, a place where he could speak directly to the public.

“How brilliant it was that millions of people were able to discover the real leslie and his love of life and unparalleled story-telling abilities on instagram. he had so much to share, and it meant so much to him that finally he’d found a vehicle through which to share it. he was absolutely unique. one of a kind.”

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/danidiplacido/2022/10/25/leslie-jordans-big-personality-made-quarantine-a-little-less-lonely/