Using self-conscious irony, perennially young 51-year-old Paul Rudd speaks young-person lingo in a New York State public-service announcement aiming to increase mask use among millennials.
"Yo, what up, dogs? Paul Rudd here, actor and certified young person," says the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Ant-Man, carrying a skateboard and sporting a yellow hoodie and big headphones. "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."
He goes on to say, "So Cuomes asks me, he's like, 'Paul, you've got to help. What are you, like, 26?' And I didn't correct him. So, fam, let's real talk. Masks, they're totally beast. So slide that into your DMs and Twitch it."
In a "vibe check," he assures he understands that "we wanna go to bars, we wanna drink, hook up, do our Tik Toks. I get it. I'm not gonna preach at you like some celebrity. Yucch! This is a convo, where I talk and you shut up and wear a mask."
After feigning a call from 18-year-old singer Billie Eilish, he says, "Yo, listen, hype beasts. Masks protect you and your dank squad. Because caring about other people is the new not caring about other people." Going into a deliberately bad TikTok dance, he adds. "You want a challenge? How about a stop-the-pandemic challenge, what about that? What about a save Grandma challenge? That fun enough for you?"
Eventually dropping the persona, Rudd says in an exasperated normal voice, "Just wear 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!"
The 2:11-minute PSA concludes with a brief parody of an October 2019 episode of the web series "Hot Ones" on the First We Feast streaming network, in which Rudd and host Sean Evans went sampling spicy foods.
"This nation is still battling the COVID-19 pandemic and young people are not immune from it," Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement. "We all need to do our part and wear a mask." He then added, tongue in cheek, "Thanks to Paul Rudd for helping us spread this crucial message and reach young people like him."
A 1-minute version of the PSA appears on the YouTube channel for Tribeca Enterprises, which helped produce the video.