Typically serious actor Helen Mirren has been experiencing viral success after her role in "Arthur" and her freshly-minted "SNL" episode.
It’s been a few months since the great Leslie Nielsen died, but it’s a fairly good bet that as you’re reading this, “Airplane” or one of the “Naked Gun” movies is playing on some cable station somewhere, getting as many as laughs in the zillionth viewing as the first.
Shirley, you can’t think we’re serious, but we were reminded of one-time romantic leading man over the weekend amid the latest burst of humor from Helen Mirren, a serious actor who is turning into a image-busting, latent queen of comedy – one whose realm is as much online as the movies and TV.
Even with the “Arthur” remake far from a huge hit (Mirren co-stars in the old John Gielgud role), this dame is going viral, thanks to a couple of new Internet videos coming out of Funny or Die and her strong showing on the latest “Saturday Night Live.”
In the hilarious Funny or Die short, which has notched more than a 1 million views, Mirren and Billy Crystal co-star in a sequel to “When Harry Met Sally” that’s geared toward aging baby boomers – with a couple of tweaks aimed at appealing to younger audiences. We wouldn’t want to give away the twists in the video, which also features Rob Reiner and Mike Tyson. Let’s just say it’s bloody good.
Meanwhile, the Oscar-winning actress appears poised to pull in the hits from her “SNL” Digital Short, whose title, “Helen Mirren’s Magical Bosom,” is description enough of the uproarious editing tour-de-force. The views might not reach “D--- in a Box” proportions, but we’re predicting Mirren’s effort will rival the popularity of “Motherlover,” a different kind of exploration of MILF-dom.
It’s great to see Mirren, who co-starred in the fun “Red” last year, unafraid to get laughs by playing against type. She’s got a talent for comedy we’d like to see more of – and Shirley, we are serious.
But decide for yourself – check out the borderline NSFW Mirren Web gems below:
Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is the former City Editor of the New York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992. Follow him on Twitter.