Leslie Jordan Says Quarantine Took His Career to 'New Heights' (Exclusive)

The 'Will & Grace' star has become a big hit on social media.

Fans can’t get enough of Leslie Jordan.

Whether he’s twirling a baton, talking to his mother, or hilariously venting about quarantine, the 65-year-old actor became a popular internet meme simply by being himself. Jordan’s Instagram following has grown to 5.5 million followers in a matter of months, and with a new book, and a New Year’s Eve gig in the works, the Tennessee native is busier than ever. 

“I'm the only person that just used the pandemic to go to new heights,” Jordan joked with ET’s Nischelle Turner while guest hosting the show on Friday. “Because we were hunkered down and didn't have anything to do and I was in Tennessee with my mom and my identical twin sisters, who are 22 months younger than me.... I just started doing funny things on Instagram and [amassed] 5.5 million followers."

Although he’s grateful for how much his life has changed this year, Jordan admitted, “I just wish it didn't happen. I'm 65. Do you mind if I take a nap? I'm telling you, it's just too much.”

“Why didn't this happen when I was in my twenties? I'd have messed it up,” he concluded. “And I think I've just started, so we'll see.”

Stars like Octavia Spencer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Andy Cohen, Justin Long, Kim Fields, and Angie Harmon can be found in the comment section of Jordan’s Instagram account. Pfeiffer even invited Jordan to her home for a small “social distancing party.”

Having been an actor for over 30 years, Jordan has crossed paths with A-listers his entire career. In the early '90s, he worked with George Clooney on Bodies of Evidence, where the Oscar winner managed to pull off one of his infamous pranks. 

“George is a jokester,” Jordan recalled. “I went on a diet, it got on George's nerves because I would come and tell everybody and he went to the wardrobe people and he said, ‘Does he wear the same suit every day?’ and they go, ‘Pretty much.’ He goes, ‘Take the pants out an inch every day. And I would show up and I would go, ‘Y’all, I'm on this diet. I am not losing pounds because I weigh myself, but I'm losing inches.'"

“By the third day, my pants were hanging clear down and I went to George. I said George, I knew [what] he did,” Jordan recalled. Instead of fessing up, Clooney jokingly blamed the hoax on someone else, but Jordan wasn’t buying it. “I said, ‘Uh-huh, it was you that did it.’”

Jordan will offer up more humorous stories in his forthcoming book, How Y'all Doing: Mischief and Misadventures From a Life Well Lived. And of course, he’ll be recording an audio version. He’s also gearing up to help Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen ring in the new year for CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live special. 

“It’s still undecided whether it’ll be virtual or not, so I hope we are going to be able to be there,” Jordan said. “We three queens."

He's also going to be busy with his upcoming FOX comedy series, Call Me Kat, premiering in January.

"Call Me Kat is my new series with Mayim Bialik and we finished our pilot two days ago, and Cheyenne Jackson and Kyla Pratt and Julian Gant and Swoosie Kurtz and it's just adorable," he teased, adding, "I sing, I dance. We are so silly on that show. We laugh so hard."


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