Leslie Jordan Talks Going Viral in Quarantine
If you’re loving Leslie Jordan‘s viral quarantine videos, prepare for a whole book of meaningful stories from the comedian.
As he gets ready to release his book on April 27, E! News has an exclusive first look at the cover for How Y’all Doing?: Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived.
The 65-year-old actor tells E! News it will include 12 short stories that he has told over the years, whether on Instagram, at dinner parties or in interviews. While his previous memoir My Trip Down the Pink Carpet was more about “struggles I had growing up with being gay and struggles with the Baptist church,” he wanted to make his newest work an insightful collection of essays.
“This book, I want to be just fun,” he says. “The tone is like a very helpful tone and it’s a tone of lessons that I have learned… I’m so in love with my little book.”
Jordan teased a few anecdotes from How Y’all Doing?, including stories about a Pride parade in Washington state, his thoughts on the Orlando nightclub shooting and details of his visit to the White House.
Harper Collins Publishers
As for his writing process, the American Horror Story alum notes, “It’s nice because when you write, the editors get involved, and then the copy editors get involved. You’re so worried about losing your full voice, you know, sometimes it’s not grammatically correct or real politically correct. And I say, ‘Well, but that’s the way I speak.’ So, I’m really proud that it has my voice.”
Of course, his 5.6 million Instagram followers are already familiar with his voice, because he’s been documenting his time in quarantine with popular video messages. He started the initial stay-at-home period at his mother’s place in Tennessee. As he puts it, “I got really bored and I started posting.”
He began with 8,000 followers but credits his Will & Grace co-star Megan Mullally for his rapid rise to Internet fame. “[She] would repost me. She’s got millions! Thank you Megan!” he says.
Of his style on the ‘gram, Jordan explains, “I stayed away from politics. I stayed away from religion. I decided I would not push any product, which I’m starting to regret! My God the money, I’d be rich! But I didn’t want that early on. I didn’t want it to be about that. I wanted it to be funny and just a little escape.”
All of sudden he was blowing up, before he even knew what “viral” meant. He likes to tell the story of when his friend from California called to say, “‘Honey, you’ve gone viral.’ And I said, ‘Oh no, I’m in Tennessee, I don’t have the virus! I’m fine.’ He said, ‘No, no, no Internet viral.'”
Much like his book, Jordan found joy in expressing himself by telling heartfelt stories about his life. He adds, “I’m real proud that I’ve just kept it real simple, just funny little things that I come up with and nobody helps me. That’s what people think—I might have a team. A team? It’s just me sitting here in my little one bedroom apartment!”
How Y’all Doing?: Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived is available for pre-order now.
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