When New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo needed to get a message to young people (millennials in particular), did he go to a rising star in the worlds of TikTok, Instagram or Twitch? Or maybe a new pop star?
Nope. Instead, he went with a 51-year-old actor who has been starring in major movies longer than younger millennials have even been alive. But in terms of big names beloved by that generation, the selection couldn't have been better. Or more fun.
Paul Rudd, who now somehow almost looks younger than he did when he starred in 1995's "Clueless," appeared in a video put out by Cuomo's office on Monday, imploring millennials to wear masks as concerns about compliance regarding mask-wearing measures have risen.
The "certified young person" began the video saying that COVID-19 has a higher rate of spread among "us millennials" — then said it was time for some real talk.
"Masks? They're totally beast. So slide that into your DMs and Twitch it," Rudd says, before a power cord on a double-neck guitar. "I'm not gonna preach at you like some celebrity. Yuck. This is a convo, where I talk and you shut up and wear a mask."
After a totally real talk on the phone with Billie Eilish, Rudd introduces his idea for the next challenge to go viral, while doing his interpretation of a TikTok dance: "How about a stop the pandemic challenge, what about that? What about a save grandma challenge? That fun enough for ya?"
Eventually Rudd breaks down, and basically does what many — including Gov. Cuomo — have done over the past few months: Goes into a rant about how easy potentially saving lives is by just wearing a mask.
"It's easy, it's simple. Please, it's not hard, people are dying. Hundreds of thousands of people are dying. And it's preventable. It's preventable – just wear a mask! I shouldn't have to make it fun, it's science!" Rudd says before a frustrated shout.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing a face mask in public settings and when you can't stay six feet apart from other people who don't live in your house.
Following a brief break in the video, Rudd returns to reenact the widely used gif of his appearance on "Hot Ones" with Sean Evans.
"Look at us, who would've thought wearing masks would be a problem," Evans asks.
"Not me," Rudd replies, looking into the camera.
The video ends with Rudd poignantly telling viewers: "We gotta yeet this virus." Truer words have never spoken.
Cuomo has often reminded young people they are not immune from COVID-19 and can die from it -- or pass it to others who can lose their lives to it as well.
"This nation is still battling the COVID-19 pandemic and young people are not immune from it," Cuomo said in a statement. "We all need to do our part and wear a mask. Thanks to Paul Rudd for helping us spread this crucial message and reach young people like him."