ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo explained Tuesday how he called actor Paul Rudd in a desperate attempt to help him wrangle a new video urging millennials to comply with New York’s coronavirus mask mandate.
“My frustration is younger people. College kids coming back from college, they all want to have a party, they all want to drink, younger people at protests are not wearing a mask, they think they’re invincible,” the third-term Democrat explained on Long Island News Radio.
“For months, the great challenge is how to get the young people.”
Then he got an idea.
“I call up Paul Rudd, and I just, I’m a big fan, I’ve met him at an event and I call him up and said, ‘Can you do a PSA, a video, that really gets to young people?’” Cuomo recounted.
“He’s respectful, he says, ‘Yeah. Yeah, yeah I can do that.’”
“I said, ‘You know, you’re funny, I think humor might do it, because I’ve tried everything. I’ve begged, I’ve pleaded, I’ve threatened. I don’t know what else to say,’” he laughed.
The wacky video, released Monday night, depicts the comic actor (“Anchorman,” “Ant-Man”) in a yellow hoodie and flat-brimmed hat, clutching a skateboard.
“A few days ago I was talking on the iPhone with my homie Governor Cuomo, and he’s just going off about how us millennials need to wear masks. Because, get this, apparently a lot of COVID is transmitted by us millennials,” Rudd, 51, says in the video, adding the governor thought the actor was actually much younger.
“Cuoms asked me, he’s like, ‘Paul, you gotta help, what are you, like 26?’ and I didn’t correct him,” adds Rudd, dubbing himself a “certified young person” due to his youthful looks.
The video has received 9 million views overnight, according to Cuomo.
“That’s the audience we have to talk to. We have to talk to young people. You know, my daughters, 25, 25, 22, they know all the answers, they just don’t know all the questions, you know? That’s the target audience for … masks, social distancing,” he added.
The video was produced with Rudd, producer Sean Evans and Jane Rosenthal, producer and CEO of Tribeca Enterprises.
First We Feast and Complex Media helped distribute the video, according to Cuomo’s office.