The governor of New York has recruited Paul Rudd to star in a jokey video encouraging young people to wear face masks that has sharply divided critics online.
In the clip, which is just over two minutes long, Rudd, 51, takes on the persona of a ‘hip’ young person, dressed in a yellow hoodie and NY baseball cap, with headphones around his neck and holding a skateboard.
‘Yo, what up doogs, Paul Rudd here – actor and certified young person,’ he begins.
Paul Rudd, 51, adopted a millennial persona for Andrew Cuomo’s public service announcement
With his skateboard and hoodie, he laughingly riffed off a ‘youth culture’ script
‘A few days ago I was chatting on the iPhone with my homey Governor Cuomo, and he was just going off on how us millennials need to wear masks because – get this – apparently a lot of COVID is transmitted by us millennials.’
The New Jersey-born actor said that ‘Cuoms’ had asked him to get the message across.
‘So fam, let’s real talk,’ he said. ‘Masks – they are totally beast! So slide that into your DMs and twitch it.’
Rudd vows ‘not to preach like some celebrity – ugh.’
He then claims that Billie Eilish, 18-year-old singer-songwriter, is calling him to say she, too, is wearing a mask.
‘You’re so my bae,’ he tells her.
At one point Rudd pretended to call his ‘bae’, Billie Eilish
He said ‘caring about other people is the new “not caring about other people”‘
Rudd then spoofed a TikTok dance in a bid to win over young viewers
‘Listen up – caring about other people is the new “not caring about other people”,’ he concludes, before doing a TikTok and rapping: ‘My name is Paul, I’m six feet tall – almost.’
Rudd then sheds the persona, as the screen behind him turns grey.
He becomes serious, saying: ‘It’s not hard. People are dying, hundreds of thousands of people are dying. I shouldn’t have to make it fun – it’s science!’
The clip then concludes with Rudd on Hot Ones, a wildly popular YouTube show where celebrities eat successively spicier BBQ wings while answering pointed questions.
Both Rudd and host Sean Evans have their face masks on, smeared with BBQ sauce.
The background switched when the actor became serious, pleading for mask wearing
Rudd concluded by appearing on an episode of Hot Ones with his face mask on
Host Sean Evans and Rudd both sported face masks smeared with hot sauce
Responses to the spoof video were mixed.
‘I don’t understand,’ one person said.
‘They tried to make a satire of cringey public service announcements…. while creating an even more cringey public service announcement which was serious?
‘It just comes off as mocking younger people while trying to preach at them about masks….’
Another told Cuomo: ‘I think the crime and businesses closing are what you should really be focused on!’
One self-described Trump supporter and ‘deplorable’ tweeted: ‘I was embarrassed for both of you while watching this.’
And another social media user, tweeting with the Twitter handle @lameland, said: ‘This is so cringe.’
Yet others were more charitable.
Lisa Helvey-Poole tweeted: ‘Most funny thing I have seen yet in masks! Loved it!’
And another concluded: ‘I’m a millennial and I approve this message. Paul Rudd never ages.’
On Twitter, some users were left bemused by the spoof advert
Others felt that the clip was a waste of Cuomo’s resources and energy
Avowed Trump supporter Harvey said that he was left embarrassed by the clip
Twitter user @lameland said she found the clip ‘so cringe’
Others, however, found the skit amusing
Even millennials were left laughing at Rudd’s comedic efforts